Birthmarks are abnormal skin colorations in spots that are either present at birth or appear shortly thereafter. They can be flat or slightly raised from the skin. Birthmarks can be any number of colors, including red, brown, black, tan, pink, white or purple. They are generally harmless. There are two major categories: pigmented and red.
Pigmented birthmarks can grow anywhere on the skin and at any time. They are usually black, brown or skin-colored and appear singly or in groups. Pigmented birthmarks can be moles (congenital nevi) that are present at birth, Mongolian spots, which look like bluish bruises and appear more frequently on people with dark skin, or café au lait spots that are flat, light brown or tan and roughly form an oval shape.
Red birthmarks (also known as macular stains) develop before or shortly after birth and are related to the vascular (blood vessel) system. There are a number of different types.
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