Types of birthmarks

July 15, 2021

If you were born with discoloration on the skin, you may have what is called a birthmark. Birthmarks may be present at birth or develop within the first month or so of life. They are noncancerous (benign) and can occur anywhere on the face and body. They vary in size, shape, and color depending on the type of birthmark present. While harmless, some patients may later on in life decide to have their birthmarks reduced or removed with a medical professional. At Chevy Chase Dermatology, we understand that birthmarks may be problematic for some individuals so we provide a range of removal options based on the type of birthmark present and the patient’s unique situation. 

How many types of birthmarks are there? 

Birthmarks are categorized into one of two categories, including pigmentated birthmarks and vascular birthmarks. Some birthmarks are permanent, while others will fade over time. These are the different varieties of birthmarks patients may have: 

Pigmentated birthmarks – pigmented birthmarks are those that have a pigment to them that is darker than pigments elsewhere on the body. Some of the more common types of pigmented birthmarks include: 

  •         Moles (nevi)
  •         Café au lait spots
  •         Mongolian blue spots

Vascular birthmarks – a vascular birthmark is found in a variety of different colors, including pink, red, or blue. Various types of vascular birthmarks may include: 

  •         Hemangiomas
  •         Port-wine stains

How can birthmarks be removed? 

The type of birthmark will determine the best treatment for removal. While birthmarks are harmless and don’t require removal, some patients may be large or highly noticeable, causing patients to feel self-conscious about their appearance. In situations such as this, a doctor may suggest reduction or removal. A few of the ways in which our team at Chevy Chase Dermatology may remove birthmarks include: 

  •         Laser and light-based therapies
  •         Oral medications such as beta-blockers
  •         Corticosteroid anti-inflammatory medications (oral or injected)
  •         Surgical removal (typical for deep and large hemangiomas)

Are you interested in reducing or eliminating birthmarks from your skin? 

Today’s technology allows patients to address birthmarks that have been on their skin and may cause them embarrassment. The team at Chevy Chase Dermatology can help! Call Dr. Margaret Summerville of Chevy Chase, MD today at (301) 656-SKIN to schedule a consultation appointment at 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite #830.

Category: Moles and birthmarks

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