Birthmarks are colored spots on the skin which are present at birth or develop soon after birth. While they are usually present on the surface of the skin, some raise above the skin. The colors range from black, brown, red, tan, purple, pink, and white.
Birthmarks are harmless and do not interfere with normal functioning of the body unless they are present near the eye or on internal organs. Their size and color remain the same throughout life, and in some cases, might also fade away as we age. However, if an existing birthmark shows the below changes, they should be brought to medical attention immediately.
When Are Birthmarks Harmful
A change in the birthmark is the significant sign of melanoma, which is a dangerous form of skin cancer. In fact, 25% of melanoma cases report a change in birthmark as the first sign. Therefore, a careful and regular examination of the marks is necessary to combat cancer at the right time. The changes could be of the size, shape, feel, or the overall appearance.
1. A Change In The Color
Birthmarks have a uniform color throughout. Be it any color, a consistency in the same with passing time is a sign of a healthy birthmark. But, if the mark tends to change its color gradually, it could indicate cancer. It might appear as a mixture of dark and light shades or have dark red or black patches between.
2. A Change In The Border
Birthmarks often have defined borders, which indicates their harmlessness. But, if they suddenly develop irregular borders, it is a matter of concern. Losing the defined border makes them appear like a splotch or oblong.