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Common Birthmarks and Minor Skin Markings in Newborns

By

Arcangela Lattari Balest

, MD, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine

Last full review/revision Apr 2021| Content last modified Apr 2021
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There are several skin markings that are considered normal in newborns.

Pink marks that are caused by dilated capillaries under the skin may occur on the forehead just above the nose, in the upper eyelids, or at the back of the neck (where they are called stork bites). This type of birthmark fades as the infant grows but sometimes remains as a faint mark that becomes brighter when the infant becomes excited or upset.

Milia are tiny, pearly white cysts that are normally found over the nose and cheeks. They are caused by plugged sweat gland ducts. Milia become smaller or disappear over a period of weeks.

White or yellowish cysts are sometimes found on the gums or in the center of the roof of the mouth (called Epstein pearls). They do not require treatment. These cysts go away in 1 to 2 weeks.

Mongolian spots are bluish gray, flat areas that usually occur over the lower back or buttocks. They usually occur in black or Asian newborns, tend to appear less noticeable with age, and do not require treatment.

Hemangiomas of infancy Hemangiomas of infancy (also called strawberry hemangiomas) Hemangiomas are abnormal overgrowths of blood vessels that can appear as red or purple lumps in the skin and on other parts of the body. (See also Overview of Skin Growths and Overview of Growths... read more Hemangiomas of infancy (also called strawberry hemangiomas) (strawberry hemangiomas) are common birthmarks. They cause the skin to turn bright red or bluish and can occur anywhere on the skin, typically the head and neck. Hemangiomas of infancy develop soon after birth and tend to grow rapidly during the first year of life. After 12 to 18 months, hemangiomas shrink and become fainter, so that by the time the child reaches school age, most are no longer visible. Most hemangiomas do not need treatment, but depending on their size and location, they are sometimes treated with laser therapy or a drug such as propranolol.

Port-wine stains Port-Wine Stains Port-wine stains are flat pink, red, or purplish discolorations present at birth due to malformed blood vessels. (See also Overview of Skin Growths and Overview of Growths and Malformations... read more Port-Wine Stains are flat pink, red, or purplish birthmarks. They are caused by malformed blood vessels. Port-wine stains may be small or may cover large areas of the body. Port-wine stains themselves are harmless, but some may occur in a serious neurologic disorder called Sturge-Weber syndrome Sturge-Weber Syndrome Sturge-Weber syndrome involves an abnormal growth of small blood vessels. It is characterized by a port-wine birthmark on the face, overgrowth of blood vessels (angioma) in the tissues that... read more Sturge-Weber Syndrome . The skin discolorations are permanent. Laser therapy can be used to treat some port-wine stains.

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Separation Anxiety and Stranger Anxiety
An important part of normal development is an infant’s growing attachment to its parents. As this bond strengthens, the infant may express fear or anxiety when the parents leave. This “separation anxiety” typically begins at around 8 months of age and resolves at around 24 months of age. Which of the following is the normal and expected infant behavior in reaction to a parent leaving the room during the time period of separation anxiety?
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