- Pigmented patches of skin
- Red, Brown, White or Tan
- On skin at the time of birth
- Show on skin shortly after birth
in Fargo, North Dakota
Many people are born with pigmented marks or moles on their skin. These are unique to each person and can give us character. Many birthmarks are harmless and just become a normal part of your body. However, some can be irritating or even an early sign of a skin problem. Even though birthmarks are natural, it’s important to have them checked by a dermatologist to make sure your birthmark is just a mark.
A birthmark is considered any discoloration or abnormal mark on the skin at or shortly after the time of birth. Birthmarks come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They can show as moles, small lumps of discolored skin, or just patches of pigmented skin. Most birthmarks are common, and a small strawberry-like patch called a hemangioma is estimated to show on between 3% and 10% of all newborns. Birthmarks such as these discolored patches tend to fade away with time but some, like moles, stay forever.
- Hemangioma: Bright red growth which grows quickly before fading away; can cause pain in some areas.
- Port-wine Stain: Patch of pigmented skin that usually doesn’t fade with time.
- Mole: Small, dark-colored mark on the skin
Most birthmarks are harmless, causing no side-effects. Some birthmarks, however, can be an early sign of skin disease. It is important to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis of your mark.
There are many different types of treatments for birthmarks. When looking at your options, it’s important to know what type of birthmark you have and what you wish to achieve with treatment. Many patients have birthmarks that are harmless but cause irritation, so their goals might be to shrink the mark or help it fade. Other birthmarks can turn cancerous so treatments are needed to fully remove the mark. The treatments used for birthmarks include:
- Laser Therapy
- Surgical Removal
When consulting with Dr. Ness about your concerns, expressing what you want your end results to be can help both of you select the right treatments. It’s also important to track any changes to your birth marks, which can be an indicator of cancerous activity.
Often, birthmarks do not require much maintenance since they are part of your natural skin. Some patients wish to conceal their birthmarks which can be done using makeup or wearing clothing that covers it up.
Although birthmarks are generally harmless, they can cause concern for some patients. If you want to discuss your treatment options or screen them for cancerous activity, Dr. Ness can help. To schedule a consultation at our Fargo office, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.