Saturday, September 1

What are Salmon Patches? - Nevus simplex Birthmarks on Babies

Home > Reddened skin conditions > Salmon Patches - Nevus simplex birthmark on babies.
Salmon patches (nevus simplex) are very common vascular birthmarks found in about 30% of newborns.
These are congenital capillary malformations caused by dilated and stretched capillaries under the skin. Medically they are termed nevus simplex or n. flammeus nuchae. Salmon patches are also known as 'stork bite' when they occur at the nape of the neck and as 'angel's kiss' when they occur on the forehead, around eyes or between the eyebrows.

Salmon patches - Signs and symptoms

Nevus simplex is usually present at birth and in a few cases it may appear in the early weeks of life. Though these birthmarks may appear anywhere on the body, they are usually found on the back of the neck, forehead, on or around eyelids, on or around nose and upper lip.

Salmon patches - Diagnosis

Nevus simplex are easy to diagnose by visual observation. Salmon patches are pink in color and appear flat. They are irregularly shaped and may appear as small lesions or may cover a great area. During the flushing of the face due to change in temperature or crying of the baby these marks turn dark red. When pressure is applied on them, these birthmarks fade and appear pale.

Differential diagnosis of salmon patches

Nevus simplex can be differentiated from birthmarks like hemangiomas and port-wine stains. Skin hemangiomas have a rapid growth phase followed by an involution phase. They appear as raised swellings. Port-wine stains, may initially may have similar appearance, but do not fade and persist. Over time, port-wine stains become dark red or purple in color, thicken, become uneven and show hypertrophy (increased tissue mass). Nevus simplex are flat and do not grow.

Treatment of salmon patches

These birthmarks are temporary and in most of the cases they fade and disappear by two years. Normally nevus simplex do not require treatment as they disappear with the growth of the baby. If these birthmarks persist beyond three years, usually in the back of neck, they can be removed by cosmetic laser procedure to improve the aesthetic appearance of the baby.  There is no known preventive treatment for these birthmarks.

Most of these birthmarks fade and disappear in two years. Nevus simplex on the nape of the neck may not resolve and may persist. However salmon patches must be examined by pediatrician to rule out any complications or disorders.

Skin Care topics Of interest:
  1. Cosmetic laser treatments.
  2. Skin hemangioma treatments.
  3. What is a hemangioma birthmark?
  4. Carotene in carrots and orange skin discoloration.
  5. Types of urticaria (hives).
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