Having a baby is indeed a blessing for a loving couple. It often reminisces the small version of themselves and the baby is always an adorable little human. It is important for you, who are looking forward to having children or already have children, to take care of your health so that you can give the best for your child. There are many things that may look off on your child and may make you worried. One of them is a stork bite. Thus, what does a stork bite indicate?

       Before answering that, what exactly is stork bite? Stork bite is a common type of birthmark seen in the newborns as around 50 percent of adults still walk around with stork bites from birth. Stork bite is medically known as nevus simplex. It is a birthmark presented on the nape of a newborn’s neck. Stork bites are often known as salmon patch or nevus flammeus simplex. Thus, a stork bite indicates a birthmark that is harmless.

       Stork bite is the pink or red patch found on the nape of the neck. It is often confused with Angels’ kiss as it represents the same birthmark but located on the eyelid and glabella (smooth part above the forehead and between the eyebrows). Stork bite, as the name implies, is from the myth that says a stork may have picked up the baby on the nape of the neck.

        Stork bite can affect all infants of all races. Approximately, 40% of Caucasian infants get this type of birthmark. It is less often in darker-skinned infants. Both male and female infants are affected equally. Stork bite is a result from the delay maturation of the skin cells during embryonic development in which the baby is still in the womb. This resulted in the blood vessels of the skin to dilate or expand which eventually shape the skin patch.

      Stork bite is present at birth as either single or multiple, flat, pink or red patches. The patch becomes more red if there is crying, fever, breathing vigorously, straining, vigorous physical activity and changes in the surrounding temperatures. The red signs become less obvious as the child gets older. The red patch is said to be caused by the increased blood flow of the skin. Since some parents may be worried of the red patch, they can try to press on it and it should have faded colour.

       Stork bites are painless and typically do not cause discomfort to the baby. But again, it can turn red in certain conditions. Stork bites can go away on its own without any treatment or intervention. It should fade away in the first few years of the child’s life. However, since some people may be concerned for their look, they may get treatment for cosmetic purposes. For such reasons, dermatologists may offer pulsed dye treatment. The treatment works by the stork bite absorbing the laser light. This led to the reduced colour of the patch.

       Even though stork bite in general does not mean anything serious, there are certain diseases that could be linked with having a stork bite. One of them is spinal dysraphism (abnormal fusion of the neural tube). Other conditions include macrocephaly-capillary malformation syndrome, Nova syndrome, Roberts syndrome and odontodysplasia). Although, it is uncertain whether there is a true association of stork bite with these syndromes. In some cases, there may be a connection between an eczema reaction known as Meyerson phenomenon with stork bites. There may also be a link associated with stork bites with alopecia areata (type of hair loss). Again, many of these conditions are not well understood why there is such a connection.

       Stork bite should not be confused with hemangiomas. Hemangiomas are developed due to the extra blood vessels that clump somewhere in the body. It is not the same with hemangiomas as stork bites usually are not raised and unable to be feel upon touch just as with hemangiomas. Hemangioma may not necessarily be  present at birth which is in contrast with stork bite.

      It can be concluded that stork bite is a birthmark that is typically found on the nape of the neck. It is produced from the blood vessels located to the surface of the skin and has been developed since before birth. Stork bite can be prominent in certain conditions. Stork bite often disappear within the first couple of years in life.It is  usually harmless and may even stay even after the person reaches adulthood. Some may get treatment for stork bite as it interferes with how they look. It is best to get a dermatologist ‘s opinion before taking steps to get rid of the stork bites. Stork bite should be a concern if it becomes large, changes colour or becomes swollen. This may indicate other conditions and not stork bites.

Also read – Dengue Prevention.

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