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My baby is 5 months, she has a Strawberry mark on her nape, which has a lump underneath the skin. Do i need to worry or it is usual?

By Anonymous March 31, 2009 - 10:10pm
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The mark was not seen at birth but after a month, the size of the mark on the skin, seems the same, but the lump underneath is almost 2 cms. Is it natural in children or will we have to get her operated and at what age???

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HERWriter Guide


Thanks for your question - it's a great one. Many babies are born, or quickly develop, strawberry birth marks. In fact, most develop them a few weeks after they are born, as opposed to being born with it.

A strawberry birth mark is technically a tumor - NOT in the cancerous sense, but it is a collection of cells that, when clustered together show as a red mark, due to the fact that the clustered cells make up small blood vessels. The raised (the "lump" you mentioned) part is also normal.

They usually get bigger the first year, but after that they only SEEM bigger because they simply grow, along with the child.

Doctors usually say they disappear within one year which is not actually true - my daughter was born with one on her face - right between the eyes (I had the joy of my husband's co-worker pointing it out when we brought her into his office - she wrinkled her nose, pointing to my baby's birthmark and said "what is THAT??" Nice, eh?)

It took over two years to disappear. Another friend of mine had a baby also born with one and it too left after a couple of years but interestingly, it reappears with the child gets flustered or very emotional - her face reddens and it can be faintly seen again! She is almost a teen!

With regard to your question on when it will fade? About half do, within the first few years of life, and about three quarters will be gone by grade school. Less than 10% still have it by ages 11 or so. Since they are usually not a medical problem, doctors prefer to let them fade naturally unless they get so big that they cause problems with seeing (if near the eyes) or with eating or breathing (if near the mouth or nose). If they do become a problem, children are usually given steroids to shrink them.

Please expect it to continue to grow on your daughter until she is about one. Then it will start to fade, more than likely, but it might take a few years. In general, these birthmarks are of no medical concern, but of course, if you see changes that are worrisome, by all means contact your doctor.

By the way, like you, one of my girls had one. Did you know that they are more common in girls, than boys? And they are fairly common - more than one out of every fifty babies born will have one! Our girls are in good company!

April 1, 2009 - 11:59am
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