What are the different types of birthmarks?

There are many types of birthmarks. Birthmarks may be present at birth or appear a few months  or even a year later. Birthmarks are due to an abnormal increase in certain types of cells or tissue, for example pigment cells, blood vessels, oil glands, hair.

Most birthmarks are benign but some may have a small risk of becoming cancerous. The commonest birthmarks are Mongolian blue spots, cafe au lait macules, Naevus of Ota, portwine stains and haemangiomas.

What is the treatment for birthmarks?

It is important to diagnose the type of birthmark in question. Some birthmarks resolve by themselves without any treatment (e.g. Mongolian blue spots, haemangioma). Some birthmarks (e.g. naevus sebaceous, very large birth moles) may have a risk of turning cancerous and should be monitored carefully or removed. Other birthmarks can be effectively treated with laser (e.g. Naevus of Ota, portwine stain) but there are some which respond less well to laser.

It is important to have the birthmark assessed by your dermatologist so that the treatment options and prognosis can be discussed.