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Baby Birthmarks & Rashes(Part3)

By: Nick Nguyen, MD, FAAP & Sheilagh M. Maguiness, MD, FAAD, FAAP

Venous Malformation

Venous malformations are tangles of veins in the skin that did not form properly during development. The veins give these birthmarks a blue or purple color. They are present at birth but may not become obvious until the teenage years. The veins can become larger with activity or certain positions, and they may become painful. Venous malformations are rare, affecting around 2 in 10,000 children.


These birthmarks may cause no problems at all. But treatment may be needed if the birthmark is painful or affects your child’s activities. Sometimes, small clots called phleboliths form in the veins. In most cases, these clots are not harmful but can be hard and cause pain. Compression garments, medications, surgery or procedures may be among treatment options.


Most venous malformations are located only in the skin, but sometimes they can also be found in muscles, bones, or organs. Your doctor may recommend a scan to get more information about your child’s birthmark.

Pigmented Baby Birthmarks—Brown & Grey

Brown and grey birthmarks may be made of extra melanocytes—the cells that produce pigment (color) in the skin. Pigmented birthmarks can look and behave differently from each other. Some are harmless, but others can come with health problems for your baby.


Congenital Melanocytic Nevi (Moles)

Congenital melanocytic nevi are commonly called moles. They can be present at birth or appear during the first year of life. These birthmarks are common, found in 1-3% of newborns. Congenital nevi can look very different from each other. Most are brown, but they may also have shades of pink, red, or black. Sometimes they have bumps or hair, and they may become rough or raised. Most congenital melanocytic nevi are harmless and usually do not require treatment or removal. Many dermatologists and pediatric dermatologist simply monitor them at well-child visits. They can also tell you what changes you should watch for in your child’s birthmark.


A nevi usually grows larger as your child grows, but not quickly. They are classified based on their size: small, medium and large/giant nevi. Large and giant nevi may have a higher risk for a type of skin cancer, melanoma, compared to small congenital nevi or other moles that appear later in life. It’s important for all children, but especially those with this type of birthmark, to wear sun protection outdoors.


A child with more than one congenital melanocytic nevus always needs to be evaluated by his or her pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist. Having more than one congenital nevus at birth may be related to problems with the brain and spinal cord. Your doctor may recommend a scan of these areas in this case, but this is extremely rare. Learn more and watch a video on identifying moles from The Society for Pediatric Dermatology.


Last Updated 3/11/2019

Source American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Dermatology and Society for Pediatric Dermatology (Copyright © 2018)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


Disease Life Newborn Child Parent-Child
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