As mentioned above, moles can have different shapes, sizes and colors. The color gamut of birthmarks in children varies from dark beige, almost imperceptible on the skin, to a rich red and even black color. Ordinary safe birthmarks in children have a regular rounded shape with even edges of brown color and a small size of up to 1.5 mm. They can be completely flat or slightly stand out from the skin of the baby. Parents should not worry about such neoplasms.
Moles of medium (up to 10 mm) and large (more than 10 mm) sizes are more likely to be damaged and scratched, respectively, and the likelihood of rebirth into a malignant neoplasm is higher. A good indicator is the presence of hair on the mole itself, regardless of its size. Such birthmarks are not inclined to degeneration, if not to pull out hairs on them.
In addition to this division, in medical practice, there is a separation of moles according to appearance and the way of formation into ordinary and vascular nevi. Ordinary birthmarks are smooth neoplasms of light pink or brown color. Sometimes their color is darker, but this should not scare parents.
A black smooth birthmark in a child is more a norm than a deviation. A saturated dark color in this case is not an indicator of its danger to the life of the baby. Another thing, if the birthmark changes color to a more or less saturated hue, there are a lot of such birthmarks or, if the black mole is one, but large (more than 1.5 cm). This is the reason to consult a dermatologist.
A red birthmark in a child speaks of its vascular origin. Vascular birthmarks are named so because they consist of a large accumulation of blood vessels, and accordingly have a red color. They can have different shapes, and their color varies from light pink to rich red.
Vascular birthmarks in children come in different types and forms:
- "Bite of a stork" - marks in newborns of a saturated red-orange color
- "Wine spots" - brownish-red or burgundy neoplasms (flaming nevus)
Hemangioma is a benign formation on the skin, despite its unaesthetic appearance. Their appearance can be seen not immediately. This can happen 2-3 weeks after the birth of the baby or even a year later. Such a mark can have different sizes and locations. Its feature is the possibility of growth. Even if a child grows such a birthmark very quickly, there is no danger to life, except that discomfort from an aesthetic point of view. Usually by a year and a half, the hemangiomas become much lighter, and by the age of 10 they disappear completely.
There are 2 types of hemangioma: "strawberry" and "cavernous." "Strawberry" mole soft to the touch, has a convex structure and color similar to the berry of the same name. Such birthmarks most often appear on the face of the child, as well as on the head, neck and neck, but their occurrence in other places, including even internal organs, is not ruled out.
"Cavernous" hemangioma looks a bit different. It has a violet, rich burgundy or bluish-gray hue, a denser structure that extends deep into the layers of the skin. Often, this spot is irregular in shape, consisting of one or several close to each other foci. Can appear on different parts of the body.
The parents are most upset with moles on the face and head of the child. But you just have to be patient, because such new formations disappear themselves. Usually they are not treated. It's just necessary to take all measures so that the baby does not damage such a birthmark, does not scratch it. After all, the main reason for the transformation of a birthmark into a life-threatening new growth is its trauma. And the larger the mole in size and the stronger it stands above the surface of the skin, the higher the probability of its damage.
Most often on the face and neck of the baby, you can find a mark such as a yellow or cream-red birthmark in a child, called in jest "bite of a stork" (or "kiss of an angel"). It can be a single spot of pink or cream color of large size or a cluster of several specks. Usually these marks disappear by the year, but there are cases that remain for a longer period.
It is more difficult with "wine spots" - flat smooth neoplasms of red-burgundy color. Such birthmarks in children also tend to increase with the growth of the child, but do not disappear with age. You can not delete them. You can only try to make them less noticeable with the help of home remedies to lighten stains on the skin or professional cosmetics. In some cases, you can recommend a course of infrared or laser therapy.
It is worth noting that some parents mistakenly believe that such a stain can be hidden behind the sun and allow the children to stay in the sun for a long time. Such a carefree attitude can only lead to a change in the color of the spot to a more saturated one, but does not hide the defect in any way. In addition, the increased exposure to ultraviolet rays of sunlight can lead to the degeneration of the mole.
A special place among birth marks is occupied by a hanging mole in a child. It can be located on the neck of the baby or under the arms. Can appear at any age. It looks like a mole like a small piece of hanging skin of a natural or darker color. The whole danger of a hanging birthmark is that it can not be broken and traumatized, while it can become the object of your baby's attention. You do not need to remove this birthmark yourself either if you care about your child's health. The most correct decision will be to consult a dermatologist for examination and advice, as well as close monitoring of the behavior of the hanging mole: for changing the color and size of the nevus.
Symptoms of degeneration of moles
In general, if the mole is not injured during life and does not undergo noticeable changes, it exists on the body of its owner for a long time without harming its health. This is typical mainly for small moles up to 6 mm in diameter. A dangerous birthmark in a child is one that has a size larger than 6 mm. It is not dangerous by itself, but by the fact that the risk of injury in such neoplasms is higher than in small spots.
The same applies to the child's convex birthmark. The baby, feeling for an unusual bump on the body, will pay special attention to it. He can always touch it, try to tear it off. The risk of injury to such birthmarks is very high, so we must closely monitor not only the behavior of the birthmark, but also the actions of the baby in relation to it.
A large mole in a child, whenever it appears and no matter how it looks, is undoubtedly the reason to show the baby to a dermatologist. The doctor will be able to assess the likelihood of degeneration of the birthmark in a malignant, and will necessarily give advice on the care of nevi.
The pathogenesis of the transformation of innocuous birthmarks and birthmarks in children into dangerous malignant neoplasms by physicians has not been fully studied yet, however, the reasons causing these changes are reliably determined. This trauma to the surface of the birthmark, unsuccessful attempts to remove birthmarks with dubious methods and means, as well as prolonged exposure to the sun without the necessary protection.
The consequences and complications of the influence of these reasons can be the most tragic. Trauma birthmarks can lead to the appearance of ulcers and bleeding from the nevus, which is very difficult to stop. At the site of the lesion, in this case in the area of the mole, a malignant tumor (melanoma, or skin cancer) can develop which has a very rapid development with multiple metastases to all parts of the body. At the same time, the initial symptoms of melanoma development revealed a 95% chance of successful treatment. If the disease is triggered, this probability drops to 20%, the remaining 80% of cases lead to the death of the patient.
Any birthmark on the baby's body requires attention from the parents. Periodic examination of moles will allow to notice the first signs of the change in the mole and its transformation into a malignant tumor. To such signs it is possible to carry:
- Asymmetry of the neoplasm (asymmetry). Ideally, the birthmark is a circle or an oval, the two halves of which are symmetrical (similar) to each other. If one side of the birthmark grows stronger than the other - this is an occasion to examine it.
- Uneven boundaries of the nevus (border irregularity). In normal healthy moles, the edges are always even. If the borders of the nevus become blurred, with cut edges - this is already one of the signs of the development of melanoma.
- Change in color (color). Normal is the homogeneous color of the pigmented spot. Inclusions of any color on the uniformly colored surface of the nevus become visible to the eye. Any strange birthmark in a child with an unusual color or shape should alarm guarding parents.
- The diameter of the mole (diameter). If the birthmark in diameter does not exceed 6 mm, then you do not need to contact a specialist. It is enough to have regular periodic control over it. Moles with a large diameter is better to immediately show the dermatologist in order to assess its development and growth.
- Variability of behavior (evolving). As a rule, a mole during a person's life does not undergo special changes. If any of the above characteristics begins to change, or several of them immediately, it is better to immediately show the child to a dermatologist or oncologist in order to prevent the sad consequences. The appearance around the nevus of a large number of others similar to it must also be cautious.
This method of examining the birthmark for good quality and safety is commonly called the ABCDE method.