When you saw that your baby had a birthmark, you may have been concerned. But rest assured that birthmarks are very common in infants—and most of them are pretty harmless.

Birthmarks are areas of discolored and/or raised skin that are apparent when your baby is born or within a few weeks of birth.

  • Birthmarks are composed of pigment cells or blood vessels.
  • About 10 percent of babies have a vascular birthmark.
  • Most birthmarks are benign and don't require any treatment.
  • If your baby has a birthmark, make an appointment with your pediatrician to have it checked out.

How Boston Children’s Hospital approaches birthmarks

Should we need to treat your child, you’re in the right place. Boston Children’s is home to the world’s largest and most experienced Vascular Anomalies Center. When doctors anywhere in the world have questions about a child’s birthmark and how to treat it, they usually call us.

Our doctors have seen and treated many kids with many different kinds of birthmarks—which means that if your child needs treatment, he'll get expert care from experienced physicians.

Dealing emotionally with your child's birthmark

If your child has a prominent birthmark during early infancy, you may experience a range of emotions, from disappointment to fear. Read about ways to cope with emotions you may experience, such as panic, sadness, a sense of isolation and guilt. 

Birthmarks: Reviewed by Arin Greene, MD, MMSc.
© Boston Children’s Hospital, 2010