Birthmarks are benign skin growths consisting of fast growing and poorly formed blood vessels or lymph vessels. They can be found anywhere on the body and may be present at birth or develop latter.
Strawberry birthmark is usually a raised swelling with a bright red surface and may look like strawberry. There are some myths associated with such birthmarks and are considered as related to the unfulfilled wishes of the pregnant woman.
They appear after birth mostly within the first month can occur anywhere on the skin. They are also known as ‘strawberry naevi’ or as ‘infantile haemangiomas’. They become a problem if they affect the face. Why such birthmarks appear on the body is not known. This could be due to an abnormality in the way the blood vessels are formed beneath the surface of the skin. They usually appear within the first week after birth. Nearly one in ten Caucasian babies and one in hundred Asian and African babies are affected by strawberry birthmarks. Their occurrence could be due to an imbalance in factors in the development of blood vessels.
Strawberry birthmarks are not a sign of poor health and they are also not connected with cancer. Usually they do not bleed or become infected. They are mostly harmless. These marks are more common in premature babies. Hence, it is possible that they could be due to the left over group of cells in the baby’s skin. The strawberry birthmarks continue to grow for the first 3 to 6 months and subsequently they are found to shrink slowly. It is observed that they fade away within 3 years in 30 percent of the cases and in 7 years in 70 percent of the cases. Remaining children may need medication for their removal.
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