Birthmarks (nevus scientifically) are small benign tumors. They can be found already in a one-year-old child but the bulk of them appear on the body by 25 years. Birthmarks can appear on the body of any person. At different times they were considered a sign of mystical power or decoration making a person attractive in the eyes of others. That’s why for many centuries people have been wondering what causes birthmarks.
What Are Birthmarks and When Do They Appear?
Birthmarks (nevus) are skin cells where a large amount of pigment is concentrated. The pigment is formed under the influence of melanin. Depending on the pigment concentration, the nevus may be bright or pale. Birthmarks appear on any part of the body: on the abdomen, back, neck, face, and even fingers.
The body of a newborn is clean. The first nevus appears at the age of 1-2 years. The parents may not notice the “speckles” on the child because, at first, the birthmarks are almost transparent. Large pigmented spots can be inborn.
Why Do New Birthmarks Appear?
There is nothing terrible and frightening in the appearance of birthmarks but there are many mysteries. For example, not everyone knows why birthmarks appear, where they originate, and how they develop. It’s very interesting as well as the fact that moles can be completely different. In practice, there are no exactly the same nevi on the body. It’s a fact! So, for the first time birthmarks appear in the first-second year of life. Although, some people are born with birthmarks that are immediately visible or manifest by 1-2 months. Birthmarks are more often divided into:
- Vascular and non-vascular,
- Dangerous and not dangerous.
With age, the number and visibility of moles grow. Although, many people believe that birthmarks are spots with which they were born. The main eruption of moles happens during hormonal failures, such as pregnancy, stress, illness, and, of course, puberty.
Vascular moles are a cluster of small blood vessels. Hence is the color of moles which can be either light pink or bright red. Moles of this type can be both flat and convex. But they have one important feature: benign neoplasms do not develop into malignant tumors, i.e. they are not dangerous.
The same can’t be said about non-vascular (usual) moles. It’s easy to find them. They can be small or large, convex or flat, but you can determine them by color – from light brown to black. Such birthmarks can be malignant. Although, the degeneration of a birthmark into a malignant tumor is rare. In fact, non-vascular birthmarks are the cells of our skin, where a lot of pigment is accumulated. They are formed due to melanin. Birthmarks that appear immediately after the birth of a child are considered congenital skin defects. The rest are acquired tumors.
So, the origin of birthmarks, as you understand, directly depends on their type. Children often have hemangiomas that need to be treated. Eventually, they can disappear from the baby’s skin and do not interfere with their life, neither in physical aspects (when moles are hurt and ripped off) nor morally (when children and adults are embarrassed about birthmarks and feel insecure). Vascular birthmarks can disappear in the first 10 years of a child’s life but it is necessary to seek help from a dermatologist as early as possible to do this.
Periods in Life When the Appearance of Birthmarks Occurs
It is impossible to determine exactly at what age birthmarks appear because nevi (birthmarks) can be not only acquired but also congenital. In most cases, after birth, there is no pigmentation on the child’s body. By the age of 6 months, the first pigmented spots begin to appear on the skin. This process can last up to about 24 years. After this, the appearance of moles occurs very rarely. At old age, they begin to fade and even completely disappear from the surface of the skin.
That is why you will not find birthmarks on the body of an eighty-years-old person, regardless of their gender. By this age birthmarks completely disappear. But there appear age spots on the skin. They are associated with hyperpigmentation. And with age, they are becoming more and more visible. It is worth remembering this and not confusing age spots with moles.
The adolescent period is the time of the formation of the human body. At this time a person has an increased appearance of new birthmarks.
What Causes Birthmarks?
Patients of dermatologists are interested in the issue of moles. Indeed, what causes birthmarks? Here are the most common causes:
The first and the main version of the origin completely and entirely depends on the embedded in the human genotype DNA. Hereditary information presupposes the preservation of information that can be transmitted from generation to generation. As a rule, relatives have birthmarks on the body, for example, the elbow, cheek, legs, or waist region.
At a time when the human skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation, melanin is produced in the subdermal secretion of the body. It has the property of changing skin color. Excess portions of the substance “melanin” can form additional areas, equipped with a certain color. As a rule, it is either brown or light beige. It is necessary to know that this kind of appearance of outgrowths on the skin is one of the most dangerous. Permanent irradiation of the skin with ultraviolet can cause malignant inflammation. In general, the issue of “birthmarks on the body and cancer” is far from fully understood problem. What’s more, this issue has not been fully studied yet.
Burst of the hormone composition of the body
Any intervention of a hormonal failure can give completely unpredictable variants of the appearance of birthmarks on the human body. It is very difficult to cope with hormones but you have to monitor your hormonal background to prevent the appearance of new birthmarks. Hormones are raging at different times:
- In children and teenagers – during puberty.
- In women and girls – after abortion, during pregnancy, after childbirth, during the menopause.
- What concerns men – when the testicles are damaged, if the hypothalamic-pituitary system fails, because of the increased estrogen formation, etc.
- Because of illnesses and stresses, infections or congenital malformations.
So, there is nothing surprising when you notice new birthmarks. There is also a theory that the cause of the appearance of nevi is the aging of the body.
Injuries, viral infections
This area of medicine is also not fully studied. Therefore, such reasons can simply be theoretical research. However, they should be on the list as well. Radiation or X-ray radiation can become the basis for the appearance of changes in the subdermal composition of the human body. Thus, it is often possible to see the so-called hanging moles on the body after the transferred irradiation.
Great attention is also paid to viral infections that enter the human body through insect bites when the skin remains open for a long time. In addition, the owner of a birthmark can injure it himself. One can cut or scratch a nevus off. At this moment, an activation of melanocytes takes place. They group and come to the surface of the skin.
And, finally, the latest version
It is not documented but takes place in the writings of Ancient China. The theory says that birthmarks appear in the places of development of the release of internal energy. Ancient scientists believed that the modification of the skin can be associated with uncontrolled energy which “bursts” outward from a certain place on the human body. According to their opinion, birthmarks could appear because of this released energy.
What to Do If Your Baby Has Birthmarks?
If you find on the body of your child a variety of points of brown or red color, do not worry if the size of the area is small. Moreover, if the mole itself does not protrude and does not bring discomfort to your son or daughter there is no need to do anything. Such birthmarks are not dangerous.
It may happen that with the course of time, one or another birthmark on the child’s body may disappear or suddenly appear. Remember: this is normal.
However, it is necessary to immediately pay attention if the child starts complaining about pain in the field of a mole. In this case, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. The specialist will immediately perform a comprehensive examination and quickly and painlessly remove the undesirable problem.
If you are in doubt whether there is a need to remove dark birthmarks on your body or not, consult a doctor who will always help in resolving this issue.
Preventive Measures Against Birthmarks
- Tan in the solarium less. It is not only harmful to the skin but can also cause new nevi;
- Spend less time under direct sunlight. This has a very negative effect on the health of the epidermis;
- Before going out, do not forget a headwear. Always apply sun-protection cream on your skin. This is especially important in summer;
- For walking and sunbathing on the beach, choose safe daylight hours – until 10 am or after 16-17 pm;
- Take care of your health. Any colds and infections can be harmful;
- Align your hormonal background to neutralize the leaps in hormones that will lead not only to poor health but also to the appearance of tumors.
If new birthmarks do not bother you at all, then there is no need to worry. Although, if you want you can consult your doctor to make sure that everything is fine. As a treatment, only one remedy is used as a rule. This is the removal of birthmarks either by the surgical method or by modern ways of getting rid of nevi.