What You Need To Know About The Mongolian Birthmark
If there is a difference between the Mongolian birthmark and other common birthmarks, it's simply that this particular birthmark mostly affects Asian as well as darker skinned races. Birthmarks in Caucasian babies are relatively common, but birthmarks in Asian babies are uncommon, so the presence of a Mongolian birthmark, also called a Mongolian Blue Spot, can cause a bit of a stir. Native Americans, residents of the Middle East, and Blacks also have been known to exhibit Mongolian birthmarks.
Child Abuse? - The Mongolian birthmark, like most birthmarks, is completely harmless, and should be of little concern in most cases. It does however bring with it its own set of peculiar problems. When we see a birthmark on a baby, such as an Angel's Kiss (also called a Stork Bite), a Port Wine Stain, or a Strawberry birthmark, our reaction is simply, "That's a birthmark". In the case of the Mongolian birthmark however, its slate gray to blue-black color and irregular edges makes it appear for all the world like a bruise, and when clearly visible this birthmark made more than one parent suspect of being guilty of child abuse.
Most of the time, these birthmarks are not much greater than the head of a pin, so do not resemble bruising. They also tend to be located in the area of the lower back and buttocks, so even if larger, they are not always highly visible. It's easy to see however that a large purple spot on the buttocks or on a shoulder of a baby could be misinterpreted as being the result of the infant having been struck or otherwise mistreated.
Most birthmarks are concentrations of collections of skin cells containing melanin, the skin's normal pigment. If this collection of cells is near the surface of a dark-skinned person, they are deep brown. But if they lie deeper beneath the surface of the skin, they take on a blue or blue-black color.
While it can happen, children rarely grow up having a Mongolian birthmark. The birthmark, formed before the baby is born, often begins to disappear within the first few months following birth, and in most all cases has completely vanished by the time a child has reached 5 years of age.
There are several fairly common types of birthmarks. The Mongolian birthmark is one of them, but by no means the most common of them. That distinction probably goes to the so-called Angel's Kiss or Stork Bite, a birthmark comprised of a collection of blood vessels which usually disappear within the first two years of life, but can be removed or diminished by laser treatment should they persist.
Another birthmark, the Cafe au Lait Spot, is the result of a genetic disorder. While these birthmarks are in themselves harmless, their presence of dictates a search for possibility of a genetic syndrome known as neurofibromatosis, which can bring with it, among other symptoms, certain learning disabilities.
Birthmarks known as Port Wine Stains can be particularly troubling if large, and particularly when appear on the face, as these birthmarks can result in self-esteem problems as a child ages. These birthmarks can often be effectively lightened by laser therapy, a treatment requiring a series of separate visits to the therapist.
Another birthmark, theStrawberrybirthmark, is actually a tumor, but it is a benign tumor, and normally disappears spontaneously, rarely causing problems unless its location results in medical complications.
The Mongolian birthmark is therefore no more a cause for concern than any of the other common birthmarks, and is certainly less of a potential problem than some of them, its main distinction being is occasional bluish tinge.