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Can red birthmarks be prevented?

Deborah Mulligan
Deborah Mulligan on behalf of MDLIVE
Pediatrics
Their cause is unknown so they cannot be prevented. Birthmarks are usually not treated unless they cause unwanted symptoms or psychosocial problems.

A baby may be born with a variety of common birthmarks.  “Stork bites” or “Angel Kisses” are small, pink patches that usually disappear in the first year.  They are typically located on the nape of the neck or eyelids.  When the baby fusses or cries you may see them turn redder in color.  Strawberry hemangiomas start as red spots and grow into small raised red areas with white marks.  They may increase in size over the first year, then shrink and disappear by age 10.  

Hemangiomas, the commonest vascular birthmark, are usually painless and harmless. Permanent lesions can be masked with cosmetics. Oral or injected cortisone may be used to reduce the size of a hemangioma if it is rapidly growing. They can also be treated with surgery, cryotherapy or laser. Please consult your pediatrician or family doctor to advise you further.

Port-wine stains are dark red or deep purple irregular patches that do not fade with time.  In this case, your doctor will look for other associated medical problems such as Sturge-Weber Syndrome.

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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.