A birthmark is a blemish formed on the skin before birth. One in ten babies is born with a vascular birthmark. The exact cause of birthmarks is not known and vascular birthmarks are not hereditary. There are different types of birthmarks known as stork bites, Mongolian blue spots, strawberry marks, and port-wine stains.
The birthmarks are soft swellings on the skin mostly red in color and some may look like strawberry. They can occur anywhere on the skin. They are a benign overgrowth of blood vessels in the skin and they consist of cells that are part of the inner lining of blood vessels. They are common in premature babies. They are not associated with ill health.
The birthmarks can occur in different colors such as blue, blue-grey, brown, tan black, pink, white, red and purple. They come in different sizes and shapes. They can be either smooth or raised from the surface of the skin. It is observed that some birthmarks fade away after the child grows up while there are others that grow with age. The overgrowth of pigment cells called melanocytes is considered as one of the reasons for these birthmarks.
The cause of birthmarks is not known. There are many folk tales and myths associated with birthmarks but none of them have been proven to explain the cause of birthmarks. As per some myths the birthmarks are caused when the pregnant woman sees something strange or she experiences a great deal of fear. The occurrence of birthmarks is more in females than in males. Birthmarks fall in to two broad categories, vascular birthmarks and pigmented birthmarks.
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