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Birthmark Shape Meanings

What Are the Most Common Birthmarks in Infants

Birthmarks come in various shapes and sizes. They are mostly harmless, but there are some that are indicative of having an underlying disease. Being able to distinguish which birthmarks are of the latter kind may be critical in preventing the disease from developing further. Here are a few types of birthmarks that are commonly found in newborns.


Around one in ten babies are born with hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are birthmarks that are generally round in shape and are in the form of raised or bulging lesions. They are raised because they are actually blood vessels that are dilated, which also explains their pink or reddish appearance. However, some hemangiomas are flat. Hemangiomas do not require treatment, as they recede or disappear by the time the child reaches the age of ten.

Some hemangiomas are also called “strawberry hemangiomas” because of they resemble the strawberry in shape and color. These hemangiomas are actually superficial hemangiomas, in contrast to deep hemangiomas, which are characterized by their bluish color but are actually very similar to their red counterparts, except that they do not have an overlaying superficial component.

Macular Stains

Approximately 30% to 50% of babies are born with macular stains, which are a form of vascular birthmarks. Red or vascular birthmarks are a manifestation of irregularities in the blood vessels. These birthmarks vary in size and have an irregular and pebbled shape. Unlike hemangiomas, vascular birthmarks do not disappear and may even grow.

If the vascular birthmarks of your child do not fade on their own or grow larger, medical attention may be required.

Macular Stains

Macular stains however, which are a form of vascular birthmarks, differ from other vascular birthmarks in that they disappear by the time the baby is one to two years old. Macular stains in particular are faint and mild marks, and they are often found on the child’s forehead and eyelids.



“Slide show: Birthmarks .” Mayo Clinic Medical Information and Tools for Healthy Living. Mayo Clinic, 13 Oct. 2009. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.

“Different Types of Birthmarks.” Vascular Birthmarks Foundation. Web. 13 Dec. 2010.

“Birthmarks – Cosmetic Enhancement.” Web. 13 Dec. 2010.

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