• Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Birthmark Causes

Klippel-Trènaunay-Weber (KTW) syndrome

What is a port-wine stain?

A port-wine stain is a certain type of hemangioma. This capillary hemangioma has a recognizable appearance. It is usually a deep violet ("port-wine") colored lesion with fairly linear borders.

Quick GuideIdentify Birthmarks: Angel's Kiss, Strawberry Mark (Hemangiomas), Others

Identify Birthmarks: Angel's Kiss, Strawberry Mark (Hemangiomas), Others

Birthmark facts

  • Birthmarks are composed of various types of normal tissue or pigment that have lost their way to their normal destination during fetal development.
  • Most birthmarks are small and do not produce medical problems.
  • The most common birthmarks are composed of either pigment-producing cells (melanocytes) or blood vessels.
  • Rarely, certain birthmarks can be a clue to a more serious medical problem.

What is a birthmark?

Any mark, spot, or bump that is present in or around the time of birth on the skin of an infant is a birthmark. Mothers are fond of giving these rather romantic names such as angel's kisses, stork bites, or beauty marks. Most of these lesions are not particularly esthetically desirable.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/26/2016

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