There are many types of birthmarks out there, though the two main kinds are vascular and pigmented. (Vascular meaning veins and pigmented meaning colored.) Pigmented birthmarks are usually just a discoloration of the skin, where vascular birthmarks are a clumping of excess blood vessels.
Common types of pigmented birthmarks include:
These spots are blue-gray and usually appear on a baby’s bottom or back. They are more commonly found on babies with darker skin tones, and can sometimes fade away with age.
Pronounced ‘Cafay oh lay’, which is French for coffee with milk, this birthmark is usually light brown on paler skin tones and very dark brown to black on darker skin tones. This kind of birthmark is often oval-shaped, though they can be small or large.
Believe it or not, some moles are actually birthmarks. These types of moles/birthmarks are often called “beauty marks”. Moles come in all shapes, sizes, and even colors. You can get more moles as you get older.
Common types of vascular birthmarks include:
Port Wine Stains
Named for its grape juice or wine color, this birthmark is usually found in shades of purple, red, or pink, and is almost always found on the face. These types of birthmarks don’t go away on their own accord, and they can get larger as children age.
Pronounced ‘he-man-gee-oh-ma’, this mole-like birthmark can appear strawberry in color above the skin, or deep blue/purple if below the skin. These can seem scary as they can grow larger during the first year of baby’s life, but they tend to shrink. Some even become completely flat by the time the child turns 10. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you suddenly get a dark spot, as it could be serious.
These types of birthmarks are sometimes referred to as “angel kisses” (when on the face) and “stork bites” (when on the back of the neck), these flat vascular birthmarks are pink to red. While they sometimes fade away, this is not always the case.
Birthmarks come in all shapes and sizes, but if you ever notice birthmarks changing (such as a mole suddenly darkening later in life or becoming rough), you should speak to your doctor immediately. This is meant to be an informational guide, and only your doctor can tell you if your birthmark is something more serious.