Pigmented birthmarks are areas in which the color of the birthmark is different from the color of the rest of the skin. Pigmented birthmarks are skin markings that are present at birth and might range from blue or black, to brownish or can be gray. The amount and location of melanin (it is a substance that determines skin color) determines the color of the pigmented birthmarks.
The pigmented birthmarks increase in size as the child ages, leading to color changes, itching, and might lead to occasional bleeding. There is no way to prevent pigmented birthmarks as they are present by birth but people with birthmarks can use good quality sunscreen to prevent any complications.
There are different types of pigmented birthmarks which include-
Mongolian spots- these are bluish and look like bruises. They often appear on the buttocks and/ or lower back but sometimes appear on the trunk or arms. These spots are often seen in people with dark skin.
Pigmented Nevi- they are also known as moles which are growths on the skin that are usually fresh-colored, brown, or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups.
Congenital nevi- these are the moles present by birth. These birthmarks have a high risk of developing skin cancer depending on their size.
Café-au-lait spots are light tan or light brown spots that are usually oval. They usually appear at the time of birth but can also develop in few years after the child’s birth. These might occur in neurofibromatosis which is a genetic condition that causes abnormal cell growth of nerve tissues.
Some complications of pigmented birthmarks include the psychological effects in cases when the pigmented birthmark is prominent. They can also lead to increased skin cancer. They can cause pain, itching, bleeding, inflammation, or ulceration of a congenital nevus or a skin lesion.