As you’re trying to figure out how to successfully take care of your little one — Googling every cough, whimper, and spot out of the norm — it seems that any small symptom could be a sign of something scary to come.
But fear not! The little red strawberry patch on your precious baby is nothing to worry about. It looks far worse than it is. In fact, it’s normal for babies to have a red birthmark. And more importantly, it’s not dangerous.
So take a deep breath. Here’s what that strawberry birthmark actually is and what you should do about it.
What Causes a Strawberry Birthmark?
These birthmarks, also called hemangioma, are just a high concentration of blood vessels in the skin. Anyone can get them. A hemangioma can show up in older adults all the way down to babies.
Related: 5 Questions Every Patient Should Ask Their Dermatologist
What Do They Look Like?
Hemangiomas vary in appearance. Much like you’d assume from its nickname “strawberry hemangioma”, most are red, but some have a blue tone. Some spots are elevated, while others are flat to the skin. And, since they’re technically a “growth”, they change over time. They may start flat, become more elevated as they grow, then disappear altogether.
Sometimes, you’ll notice they deepen in color. That’s just a sign of heat. So, in warm weather, during high activity, or after a shower or bath, the red color is often more pronounced.
Should I Treat It?
If left untreated, a baby’s hemangioma has no potential dangers. It doesn’t lead to other problems — and it doesn’t even hurt or itch. It’s just a noticeable color.
But if it bothers you, there are options. These growths can be laser treated. Intense pulse light (also called photofacial) causes those blood vessels to constrict permanently. But, usually, the spots are hidden under the hair, so people choose to leave them untreated.
You can cross hemangioma off your worry list. There was nothing you did to cause it, and it doesn’t indicate an underlying issue. That little stork bite on your baby is just a collection of blood vessels that make the skin appear red. It’s nothing more. But if you’d like to know your options for strawberry birthmark removal, give us a call, and we’ll find the best treatment for your little one!
Dr. R. Todd Plott is a board-certified dermatologist in Coppell, Keller, and Saginaw, TX. His specialization and professional interests include treating patients suffering with acne, identifying and solving complex skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea, atopic dermatitis, and identifying and treating all types of skin cancers. In his spare time, Dr. Plott enjoys cycling, traveling with his wife, and spending time with his children and new grandson.
Learn more about Dr. Plott.