A stork bite is a common type of birthmark often seen in newborn babies. The medical term for this type of birthmark is nevus simplex, and another common reference to this birthmark is a “salmon patch.” All three terms are referring to the same type of birthmark in infants. Stork bites occur in about one out of every three infants. This common type of birthmark is not life-threatening and does not cause any harm to the body. While most stork bites go away on their own by a child’s third birthday, should they last longer they can be removed with a laser.
Stork bites are birthmarks that are created by small blood vessels that are visible through the skin. The most common places for these birthmarks to occur are on the forehead, between the eyebrows, on the eyelids, on the upper lip, and on the back of the neck. It is important to note that babies who have a stork bite on the back of their neck will typically not experience fading of these marks. It is not known why, but stork bites on the back of the neck are typically permanent while the others characteristically fade before a child turns three. Pigmented birthmarks cause no other symptoms aside from their coloration. Most of the time, no treatment at all is necessary for babies born with a stork bite because it will fade as the child grows older.
For centuries, people have tried to tie in superstitions and legends with birthmarks, some of them are more far-fetched than others. For instance, some older generations would say that women who experienced especially strong emotions throughout their pregnancies would give birth to babies with a birthmark. Babies born with red birthmarks have often tried to be connected with their mothers eating too much red foods (e.g. strawberries and tomatoes) while they were pregnant. Other ancient cultures believed that birthmarks were lucky and that they should be touched so that the luck would “rub off” on those who touched them. While still, other cultures believed that birthmarks were evil and that a child was “marked” by a demon. Of course, none of these superstitions are true or have any correlation to why a child is born with a birthmark and why another child is not.
At the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, we are here for patients of all ages who suffer from vascular birthmarks or other hemangioma or malformation. Dr. Waner leads The Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York, and together with his team of experts, they provide skill and experience for a favorable outcome for patients. Please contact us today to learn more and schedule a consultation.