Skin Pigmentation in Babies

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There may be unusual pigmentation of the skin in babies. Unusual skin pigmentations may also develop as they get older. Although most skin pigmentation disorders are harmless, they should be checked regularly for any changes, as this can be a sign of skin cancer.

What is a birthmark?

A birthmark can be seen at birth or soon after. It is an area of discoloured and/or raised skin. They are either made up of pigmented cells or blood vessels and are quite common.

The cause of birthmarks is not yet known. Most birthmarks are non-cancerous and harmless and so do not need to be treated. All birthmarks on babies should be looked at and diagnosed by a doctor.

What is a Mongolian spot?

Mongolian spots are found on almost all black or Asian babies. They are blue or purple in colour and are usually found on the baby’s back and bottom. Mongolian spots are caused by groups of pigmented cells getting trapped in the skin. They are usually gone by the age of 4. They are found in both boys and girls and are harmless.

As Mongolian spots can often be mistaken for bruises, you should get all spots on your baby diagnosed by a doctor.

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