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Birthmarks are coloured marks on the skin that are present at birth or soon afterwards. Most are harmless and disappear without treatment, but some may need to be treated.

There are many different types of birthmark.

Flat, red or pink areas of skin (salmon patches or stork marks)

A baby's face with salmon patches on their eyelids and forehead

Salmon patches:

Strawberry marks:

A port wine birthmark on a person's cheek, nose and upper lip

Port wine stains:

Close-up of a flat, light brown patch on a person's skin

Cafe-au-lait spots:

Large, dark blue-grey patch that looks like a bruise on a baby's thigh

These birthmarks:

If your baby is born with a blue-grey spot it should be recorded on their medical record.

Brown or black moles (congenital moles or congenital melanocytic naevi)

Congenital moles:


Find out about other types of birthmark:

The Birthmark Support Group has information about other types of birthmark and getting help and support.

Most birthmarks do not need treatment, but some do. This is why it's important to get a birthmark checked if you're worried about it.

A birthmark can be removed on the NHS if it's affecting a person's health. If you want a birthmark removed for cosmetic reasons, you'll have to pay to have it done privately.

Possible treatments for birthmarks include: