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Can pigmented birthmarks be prevented?

Deborah Mulligan
Deborah Mulligan on behalf of MDLIVE
Pediatrics
The cause of pigmented birthmarks is not known. However, the amount and location of melanin (a substance that determines skin color) determines the color of pigmented birthmarks. Cafe-au-lait spots might be a normal type of birthmark, but the presence of several cafe-au-lait spots larger than a quarter might occur in neurofibromatosis (a genetic disorder that causes abnormal cell growth of nerve tissues).   It is a good rule of thumb to apply a good quality sunscreen when going outdoors every day, particularly if your child has a pigmented birthmark,  in order to prevent complications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.