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Posted by bio_man   October 8, 2021   5008 views

Birthmarks are congenital marks on the skin that appear at birth and occasionally disappears spontaneously. The term nevus refers to a benign cutaneous tumor consisting of blood capillaries. Such tumors, which rarely spread from their original site and are not dangerous, vary in color according to whether the capillaries composing them carry arterial or venous blood. The popularly termed cherry marks and port-wine stains (shown below) are nevi on a level with the surface of the skin. Certain other vascular nevi, commonly known as strawberry or raspberry marks (scientifically known as hemangiomas), are slightly elevated above the surface. These can appear anywhere on the body's surface, including the airway within the nose. The former Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, is known for his strawberry hemangioma (albeit faded with age) found on his head.

Genetics is assumed to play a role in the formation of some birthmarks, but in most cases, the cause of a birthmark is unknown. For example, some babies born with port-wine stains have a rare condition called Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome. This condition is associated with a genetic mutation most commonly in the PIK3CA gene; however, not all people with port-wine stain birthmark have this genetic mutation.

The term nevus is also applied to superficial tumors, such as pigmented spots and hairy moles. Although sometimes best left untreated, disfiguring nevi may be camouflaged by tattooing. Specific treatment, dictated by the type of blemish, is by electrocautery, small doses of radium, freezing with carbon dioxide, or removal by conventional or laser surgery.

Birthmarks Genetics Strawberry hemangioma Rare conditions Skin condition
Posted in Interesting Facts
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