Alternate Names : Nevus sebaceous, Hairy nevus, Nevi, Mole, Cafe-au-lait spots, Congenital nevus
A birthmark is a skin marking that is present at birth. Birthmarks include cafe-au-lait spots, moles, and mongolian spots.
See also: Birthmarks – red
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Cafe-au-lait spots may occur in people with the genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis.
Nearly everyone has moles, which usually appear after birth.
Mongolian spots are more commonly seen in darker-skinned populations.
Pictures & Images
Mongolian blue spots
Mongolian blue spots are flat bluish- to bluish-gray skin markings commonly appearing at birth or shortly thereafter. They appear commonly at the base of the spine, on the buttocks and back and also can appear on the shoulders. Mongolian spots are benign and are not associated with any conditions or illnesses.
The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature. The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells. Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin. The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to. Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore. Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.
Review Date : 10/28/2008
Reviewed By : Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.