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What Causes Birthmarks – Red, White & Strawberry Birthmarks on Babies

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Babies tend to be born with various marks on different parts of their bodies. These are commonly known as birthmarks. Despite the name, birthmarks could also form soon after birth. The Color of the different types of birthmarks varies. In this post we explore what causes birthmarks in general and also go into details as to what causes red, white and strawberry birthmarks on babies.

What Causes Birthmarks on Babies?

Contrary to popular belief, there has been no scientific evidence to show that birth marks are hereditary. While the field of birthmarks is still an extensive area of research, most experts agree that most of the birthmarks are not inherited.

Birth marks cannot also be attributed to something done or not done during the pregnancy term. As such, there is no definitive cause of birth marks.

A birthmark on a baby
A birthmark on a baby

The development of vascular birthmarks is attributed to an over accumulation of cells which line up a baby’s blood vessels. This leads to an excessive flow of blood to the surface of the skin which remains as long as the dilation is not corrected thus leading to the skin getting stained. This appears on the surface of the skin in the form of a birthmark.

Where there is a damage of the nerves responsible for controlling constriction and dilation of blood capillaries, there is a likely hood of formation of birthmarks. This is because there will be an accumulation of dilated capillaries causing some mark beneath.

In other cases, it is believed that the birthmark may be as a result of a tiny piece of the placenta lodging inside the skin of the developing embryo during the early stages of the pregnancy. This blends in as the baby grows but will be seen as a birth mark once they are born.

There also are some protein types that are linked to the formation of some types of birthmarks.

What Causes Strawberry Birthmarks?

Strawberry birthmarks which are often characterized by a hardened blemish on the skin’s surface have no definitive cause. They also come with no known risk factors thus making it hard to put into place control measures.

Strawberry birthmark
Strawberry birthmark

When it comes to what causes strawberry birthmarks, researchers believe that this is one of the types that have a genetic connection. This means that people in a family, which has experienced these kinds of marks, are more predisposed to getting them. This though does not eliminate the fact that they could also occur by chance to people who belong to families with no one that has them.

Strawberry birthmarks develop when the baby is still in the womb when small blood capillaries get concentrated under a part of the skin. When the baby is born, the birthmarks appear as a straw berry blemish found on the surface of the skin. This is usually caused by an increase in the size of the concentrated blood vessels as the baby grows.

Strawberry birthmarks can be found on any part of the body but are most common on the face, beck, scalp and chest. A close examination of the spot on which they are formed will show a network of closely packed blood vessels.

What Causes White Birthmarks?

Compared to other pigmented birthmarks, white birthmarks are less noticeable on light colored people but are quickly spotted on dark skin color tones. They usually form as white spots on the skin and occur when melanin is not formed on the part of the body on which they appear.

White birthmarks are not harmful in any way but may cause permanent color loss. Where one notices formation of many white spots, it is important to visit a dermatologist, as this could be a sign of vitiligo.

What Causes Red Birthmarks?

Red birthmarks are also known as vascular birthmarks. They are of different types including salmon patches, port wine stains and hemangiomas. They are caused by an overgrowth of blood vessels.

Port wine stains birth marks are caused by the malfunctioning of the nerves found in the blood capillaries. This makes it hard to control the constriction and dilation of the capillaries. As a result, there is a constant and unrestricted blood flow to the surface of the skin. This causes the given part to become red. Port wine stains are also associated with Sturge-Weber Syndrome.

Salmon patches which also fall under the red birth marks category are normally tiny blood vessels visible through a person’s skin.

What Causes Port Wine Birthmarks?

In the blood circulation system, there are nerves that are responsible for the narrowing and widening of blood capillaries. These enhance movement of blood towards one direction. If the nerves become faulty, the capillaries are rendered inefficient. This causes them to become permanently narrow something that could lead to back flow of blood. When this happens, there is a possibility of formation of port wine stains.

Mongolian Birthmark Causes

The eye color cells are the same ones that develop Mongolian birthmark cells. Mongolian birthmark causes can be attributed to the cells being trapped as they travel through the body. This happens in the first phases of the pregnancy. If they are trapped on the skin’s surface they appear brown but the deeper they are the more bluish they will appear.

Despite the not so specific causes of various types of birthmarks, one can undergo treatment if they feel that the birthmark is interfering with their daily life. The most common form of treatment for birthmarks is laser treatment. This is safe for people of all ages and can as such be used by small children. It works best in kids since the birth mark will still be small and flat.

Another form of treatment is surgical process. This is mostly appropriate where the birth marks are large and where they may be causing some health factors.

Where one is still determined to get rid of them without undergoing any medical procedure, lightening creams especially made for birth marks can be used. Since most birthmarks are harmless, one could learn to live with them especially if they are small in size and invisible. When a time comes where they would wish to wear revealing clothes and the birthmark gets on the way, they can use concealing make up to blend their color tone.

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