Birthmarks are coloured marks that are visible on the skin. They’re often present at birth or develop soon afterwards.
There are several different types of birthmark and some of them are very common.
The two main types of birthmark are:
- Vascular birthmarks (often red, purple or pink) caused by abnormal blood vessels in or under the skin
- Pigmented birthmarks (usually brown) caused by clusters of pigment cells
Some of the most common types of pigmented birthmarks include: Café-au-lait spots
Café-au-lait spots are coffee-coloured skin patches. Many children have one or two.
It’s not fully understood why birthmarks occur, but they’re not usually inherited.