What causes stork bites in newborns?

Stork bite causesA stork bite is found at newborn babies. It is a special form of the nevus flammeus. For most children, stork bite disappears in the first years of life. Read here everything important about the stork bite.

Immediately after birth, the benign lesion, which can reach a size of about five millimeters to ten centimeters, can be recognized as a red, irregular, but clearly defined spot. Stork bite usually appears in the neck of newborns. Sometimes, this special form of the lesion is found in other areas of the head (such as the forehead, eye or nose) and is also often referred to as the “angel kiss”.

A stork bite is completely harmless and makes no complaints. If at all, it is only a cosmetic problem.

Stork bite causes and risk factors

The redness is caused by dilated capillary blood vessels under the skin. Actually, the functional dilation of the vessel is caused by a developmental delay: the supply of the blood vessels with nerves which regulate the vessel diameter is not yet complete at the affected site of the skin. The exact cause of the stork bite is however unclear. It is not inherited and also not favored by external factors during pregnancy.

How to diagnose stork bite?

A stork bite is immediately found in newborn babies and is discovered at the latest during the first checkup. The blood can be removed by light pressure, causing the redness to disappear for a short time.

Stork bite or Angel kiss are so-called medial stains. This means they are located in the region of the body center. They have to be distinguished from the lateral fire-painting, which is distributed asymmetrically. These usually increase with the body’s growth and may point to a malformation of lower-lying vessels.

If the stain is located on the coccyx or near the eye as well as in the longitudinal direction on the arm or leg, the pediatrician must clarify in another study whether there is any other disease.

The following questions must be answered:

  • Where is the spot?
  • How big is the stain?
  • Is the stain growing?
  • Does it fade or become darker?
  • Are there other malformations?
  • Can other vessel malformations be excluded?

What is the treatment for stork bite?

A treatment for stork bite is sually not necessary because storks are usually harmless and disappear by themselves. If this is not the case, or if the stork bite is very large and / or cosmetically disruptive, the dermatologist can eradicate it with electron needles or lasers. However, the treatment of large stains sometimes does not lead to the desired result.

Alternatively, cosmetically disturbing stains can be covered in adolescents or adults with medical makeup.

In most children the dilatation of the vessels gradually decreases during the first years of life, and the spot fades. If other malformations are excluded, therefore it is only necessary to wait. Spots are especially well formed in the face area. A stork bite in the neck may persist, but as a rule it disappears under the hair. If a stork bite does not fall back on the face and is cosmetically disruptive, dermatologists can eradicate veins with the aid of a laser treatment and reduce the redness.

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