Moles and Birthmarks

Children may be born with many different types of birthmarks. Common birthmarks include moles, café-au-lait macules, Mongolian spots, Naevus of Ota or vascular (red) birthmarks.

Birthmarks may present in many different colours, shape or size. It is important to see a trained dermatologist to accurately diagnose the birthmark so that advice can be given about the progression of the birthmark and whether treatment or further investigations are required.

  • Moles – any moles changing in shape, size or colour must be examined and a biopsy (sample of skin) will be taken if necessary.
  • Café-au-lait macules – harmless brown patches that will persist. Responds well to laser but may recur.
  • Mongolian spots – blue gray patches common on back and buttocks of Asian children. Large majority fade completely as the child gets older.
  • Vascular (red) birthmarks – Haemangiomas may enlarge rapidly in the first year before gradually shrinking. Port wine stains persist and darken with age. As they can sometimes cause complications or be associated with other conditions, it is important to get these red birthmarks assessed. There are also effective treatments available for such vascular birthmarks.

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