Many newborns have some temporary pimples or pimples that will disappear as days go by. There is also the possibility of some spots on the skin, called birthmarks, which in some cases are small and almost imperceptible, but in others, they are very large and will pose an aesthetic problem for the child in the future.
It is estimated that 1 in 10 babies is born with some of these marks or develops them within a few days . Therefore, it is essential that parents know what are the types of treatments and the solutions to follow.
What is a birthmark?
Birthmarks are congenital in origin and cannot be prevented . According to several studies there is nothing that the mother can do during pregnancy to avoid them. It should be noted that these brands are harmless and do not pose any risk to the health of the child.
Their shape can vary and can appear anywhere on the body . Some are flat or also protruding, they can have regular or irregular edges and be of different shades such as brown, red, pale blue, among others, according to the KidsHealth specialists .
There are two types of birthmarks:
- vascular: in most cases they are reddish, since there are a large number of dilated capillaries, such as hemangiomas. In many cases these tend to disappear on their own. There are also more pink ones that commonly appear in the neck area, eyelids, nose or forehead.
It is important to note that there are three types of hemangiomas : on the one hand, there are superficial hemangiomas, which are known as strawberry-colored marks; deep hemangiomas, those that grow under the skin and have a flat surface; mixed hemangiomas, a combination of both.
- Pigmented: they are similar to moles and have brown pigmentation. The best known is the so-called “Mongolian spot” and they are generally caused by an increase in melanocytes, those responsible for skin pigmentation. There are also the “café au lait” spots, which appear in 10% of babies and are characterized by having well-marked edges and those known as moles or nevi, which are usually a little rough to the touch and brown in color.
These types of birthmarks do not usually affect the health of the child . They must be treated in the event that it represents an aesthetic problem. Also in some cases they can increase the chances of skin cancer. It is advisable to visit a specialist, if the mark becomes infected, bleeds, itches or hurts,
Who is the candidate for treatment?
he ideal candidates for a treatment are children or people who want to eliminate, either for aesthetic reasons or to avoid damage to health in the future, vascular or pigmented birthmarks .
In the case of newborns, the specialized dermatologist will be in charge of determining if the spot can be treated at birth or if it will be necessary to wait, since it must be considered that the newborn’s skin is still changing and the most common treatments such as laser or surgery can scar you for life.
How do I choose my specialist?
Everything related to skin abnormalities should be reviewed and attended by a specialist dermatologist . Along these lines, it is important to choose a doctor who has the professional title of Dermatologist.
In the case of wanting to consult for a hemangioma or pigmentation spot in your baby or child, it is most likely that your family pediatrician will refer you to a specialized pediatric dermatologist, who will be responsible for evaluating and providing the type of treatment to follow. .
. This point is very important, since if the birthmark is not treated or diagnosed correctly, it could have consequences for the patient’s skin, even irreversible.
How is the first consultation?
During the first visit, the dermatologist will evaluate the birthmark, determining what type it is, with a superficial review or with the help of a micro camera . Another factor to take into account will be the number of marks, their size and their location .
Then, he will explain to the patient or to the parents (in the case of a baby or child), what are the steps to follow and what type of treatment will be carried out to eliminate or reduce the stain.
In some cases, a more exhaustive evaluation will be necessary, taking samples or ordering blood tests, to rule out any type of disease or that the pigmented birthmark shows some type of carcinogenic sign with the passage of time or aging . These samples will need to be analyzed and the dermatologist will request a biopsy.
In which cases will you need treatment?
Treatments for birthmarks vary depending on the type. Some simply disappear with the passage of time. As is the case with hemangiomas, since if they are superficial, they will stop growing when the child is 5 months old. Already when the baby reaches 6 to 8 months of age, this spot begins to slowly disappear, through a process called “involution.” Despite the fact that each case is different, a large percentage of cases have been seen in which these disappear completely when the child turns 5 or 6 years old.
Despite this, there are cases in which the stain will need some type of treatment. According to Healthy Children specialists , it will be done in the event that:
- There is a medical problem: In some cases, the appearance of this hemangioma could interfere with vital functions of the child, such as when they appear in the eyes, nose (making it difficult to breathe) or mouth, making it difficult to eat.
- Cracking of the skin: There may be cases where the skin in the area of the mark begins to crack and an ulcer forms, leading to a possible infection.
- Changes in the skin: some changes in the color of the hemangioma or in the texture can be perceived.
Types of treatment
The most common treatments for treating birthmarks, whether they are vascular or pigmented types, are lasers or surgery. In any case, there is a period in which the brand will require vigilance, control and monitoring by the pediatric dermatologist before choosing the type of procedure to follow.
Along these lines, there are various treatments to eliminate or reduce birthmarks, among which we can highlight:
Treatments for hemangiomas, as recommended by Healthy Children :
- Systemic treatments: in this case, the pediatrician or pediatric dermatologist may prescribe the baby propanedol, a beta-blocker drug that allows the hemangioma not to grow and decrease in size. They can also prescribe oral steroids, but in very rare cases.
- Localized treatments: these are topical medications, such as creams. This is one of the most frequent, especially in newborn babies, since it is a safer treatment and allows the elimination or reduction of the hemangioma. Another alternative is a steroid injection over the brand, which will allow it to not grow.
- Other types of treatments: surgery may be feasible, but only in very particular cases and when the hemangioma is small. It is recommended to do it when the child is already 3 to 5 years old .
- As another alternative is the use of laser , which is usually recommended in the event that the hemangioma has bleeding (ulcer) and helps reduce the redness and appearance of the mark. The doctor regulates the intensity of the laser, according to age and skin type and applies it to the affected area. Most likely, the patient will need several sessions. It is important to note that the laser helps to coagulate the blood vessels, which promotes the disappearance of the annoying red pigment that is produced by hemoglobin, they mention from the Institute of Photomedicine .
- Treatment for pigmented birthmarks: in these cases the laser is not a good option, since the mark is eliminated, but without having confirmed whether or not it was benign, so surgery is recommended, but only if the specialist suspects that can be dangerous in the future developing some type of cancer. In this procedure, local anesthesia will be given to the area and the birthmark will be removed with a scalpel and the skin will then be attached with an absorbable suture.
How to take care of the skin after the intervention?
They are generally quite safe treatments and do not require recovery time at rest . In the case of laser treatment, the specialist will tell you to apply sunscreen to the worked area and avoid contact with the sun. Another recommendation is to wash the area with neutral soap, avoiding rubbing the area of the area treated with a towel. The pool and physical exertion should be avoided for 48 hours.
If you are a man and a birthmark has been removed from your face, you must wait at least 10 days to shave.
In the case of surgery, the treated area must be kept clean and disinfected, respecting the healing times and special care indicated by the dermatologist . It is generally painless, but in the event of discomfort, an anti-inflammatory may be prescribed.
There are very few complications, as these are generally fairly safe treatments . In the case of the laser, a complication can be a hematoma, skin damage or a burn due to mismanagement of the machine. In the case of surgery, an infection may occur if the patient does not follow the indicated recommendations.
What results to expect?
- The patient regains his confidence and self-esteem.
- Biological capacities are improved in some cases (eat, see, breathe)
- The mark will diminish considerably and in some cases it will disappear completely.
- Future diseases are prevented, such as a possible cancer in pigmented birthmarks.
- Can birthmarks be avoided? They cannot be prevented, and they have nothing to do with something that the mother did or did not do during pregnancy, emphasize from Kids Health .
- What will the skin look like after laser treatment? Hemangiomas can be purple in color that will last about 8-10 days. There may also be a small scab that falls off quickly. All these symptoms are normal, they indicate from the
- Can I get a piercing if I have a birthmark on my belly button? If it is a common brand, there is no problem and the person could have a piercing in the area without any risk, explains
- Can I get a tattoo on the birthmark? It is advisable at first to treat the birthmark first and wait a while for it to heal well and the skin to be healthy again, they mention from more than .
- Is it necessary to use anesthesia for the procedure? In most cases it is not necessary to use anesthesia because the mark is very small, but in other cases an anesthetic cream is applied, they explain from the