16th October 2017

Bemusing Birthmarks

It’s not at all uncommon for many of us to experience the development of coloured marks on our skin either at birth or fairly soon afterwards. These have come to be known as birthmarks and manifest themselves in a variety of ways. They can be categorised either as vascular or pigmented birthmarks, with numerous types falling under each category, from stork marks to mongolian spots.

In some cases, they can be rather unsightly and might leave you inundated with questions, such as exactly why do birthmarks form and are they a cause for concern?

Are birthmarks dangerous?

Luckily, most birthmarks are completely harmless and pose no risks to our overall health, unless their appearance is having a particular effect on your mental health and daily life. Certain birthmarks, such as port wine stains and strawberry marks, make more of a significant impact on your outward appearance than less noticeable birthmarks, such as café-au-lait spots and salmon patches.

Some birthmarks are flat to the surface of your skin, whereas other can appear raised. In any case, this prompts many people to seek cosmetic treatment or advice from a professional dermatologist, like Dr Firas Al-Niaimi. In this instance, there are many courses of action that we could take, depending on your individual situation, but all of this would be discussed between yourself and Dr Firas throughout your consultation and following an assessment of your birthmark.

Occasionally, a birthmark might be an indicator or a product of a more serious, underlying health concern. Port wine stains tend to be associated with poor capillary function or even conditions such as Sturge-Weber Syndrome and Klippel-Trenaunay Syndrome.

Where do birthmarks come from?

Usually it is unclear as to the exact reason why birthmarks form. Inheritance doesn’t tend to play a part in this, and instead it usually comes down to blood vessel abnormalities or clustered pigment cells. What matters is whether the mark is having an effect on your overall health, whether that be physically or mentally. It has been known for birthmarks to become ulcerated, block airways and even impair vision, although this is rare.

If you have any questions or concerns about your birthmark, Dr Firas and the team would be more than happy to hear from you. Schedule your consultation today.

Back to blog