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Birthmarks in children
Medical expert of the article
The fact that moles can be unsafe, many of us have heard. However, as well as the fact that all birthmarks should be treated with extreme caution. That is why birthmarks in children are not a groundless cause for concern by parents. After all, all mom and dads want to see their kids healthy and beautiful. If the birthmark of a small size and is located somewhere on the handle, backrest or ass of the child, it causes affection to the parents. Another matter is the large irregular spots on the face, located on the face and other places not hidden by clothing. They are not only aesthetically unattractive, but can also conceal a hidden threat to the child's life.
Causes of the moles in a child
Moles - unusual neoplasms on a person's skin. Mysteriousness of these pigmented spots is that they can occur at any age, from the moment of the birth of the child. True, the presence of moles (nevi) in newborns - a fairly rare phenomenon that occurs in one child out of a hundred. Nevertheless, the fact remains, and the child can already be born with a mark, which is called the birthmark. The birthmark can have a more or less intense brown or red color and be of different sizes.
Usually moles in children begin to appear on the skin, starting at six months of age, but in most cases this process starts in 2-3 years. By the age of four, most children have 10 moles of various sizes on the skin. Then, for some time, the increase in the amount of pigment spots does not occur or slows down. The next peak in the growth of the number of nevi is at adolescence, when the appearance of moles is associated with hormonal changes in the body.
In principle, the appearance of moles in humans is a natural process. This is due to the presence in the human skin of special cells - melanocytes, which in some cases cause various changes in the pigmentation of the skin.
The reasons for the appearance of moles in a child can be both hereditary, and be the result of the internal (a change in the hormonal background during puberty) and external (the effect of sunlight) exposure. If the genus of the baby was numerous placer birthmarks, it is likely that he will have many birthmarks. Moreover, they appear mainly in the same places as their relatives, which, by the way, is the reason for the name of such tumors.
In adolescence, hormonal bursts can cause an increase in the production of melanin, the substance responsible for skin pigmentation. At the age of puberty, nevi can, how to actively appear, and disappear. And this behavior of moles does not at all indicate pathological processes in the body and directly on the skin. This is a normal, natural reaction.
There is also a theory that changing skin pigmentation can cause traumatic effects on the skin, for example, with insect bites, or the effect of viral infections triggering the process of grouping and reaching the surface of melanocytes. There are birthmarks that are almost invisible on the skin. The child can accidentally scratch it, and it will change color to a darker one.
The influence of ultraviolet on the skin can also provoke an increase in the number of nevi, as well as a change in their appearance (color, size, shape). And it happens at any age, as in childhood, and in adolescence, and even as an adult. It is the effect of ultraviolet radiation that can later trigger pathological processes of modification and degeneration of moles.
Some studies show that the probability of birthmark birthmarks in newborns is higher if the baby is premature or has very light skin. In fair-skinned children, moles are often greater than those of swarthy skin owners. There is a relationship between the number of nevi and the sex of the child. As a rule, girls are more likely to form birthmarks.
Symptoms of the moles in a child
As mentioned above, moles can have different shapes, sizes and colors. The color gamut of birthmarks in children varies from dark beige, almost imperceptible on the skin, to a rich red and even black color. Ordinary safe birthmarks in children have a regular rounded shape with even edges of brown color and a small size of up to 1.5 mm. They can be completely flat or slightly stand out from the skin of the baby. Parents should not worry about such neoplasms.
Moles of medium (up to 10 mm) and large (more than 10 mm) sizes are more likely to be damaged and scratched, respectively, and the likelihood of rebirth into a malignant neoplasm is higher. A good indicator is the presence of hair on the mole itself, regardless of its size. Such birthmarks are not inclined to degeneration, if not to pull out hairs on them.
In addition to this division, in medical practice, there is a separation of moles according to appearance and the way of formation into ordinary and vascular nevi. Ordinary birthmarks are smooth neoplasms of light pink or brown color. Sometimes their color is darker, but this should not scare parents.
A black smooth birthmark in a child is more a norm than a deviation. A saturated dark color in this case is not an indicator of its danger to the life of the baby. Another thing, if the birthmark changes color to a more or less saturated hue, there are a lot of such birthmarks or, if the black mole is one, but large (more than 1.5 cm). This is the reason to consult a dermatologist.
A red birthmark in a child speaks of its vascular origin. Vascular birthmarks are named so because they consist of a large accumulation of blood vessels, and accordingly have a red color. They can have different shapes, and their color varies from light pink to rich red.
Vascular birthmarks in children come in different types and forms:
- "Bite of a stork" - marks in newborns of a saturated red-orange color
- "Wine spots" - brownish-red or burgundy neoplasms (flaming nevus)
Hemangioma is a benign formation on the skin, despite its unaesthetic appearance. Their appearance can be seen not immediately. This can happen 2-3 weeks after the birth of the baby or even a year later. Such a mark can have different sizes and locations. Its feature is the possibility of growth. Even if a child grows such a birthmark very quickly, there is no danger to life, except that discomfort from an aesthetic point of view. Usually by a year and a half, the hemangiomas become much lighter, and by the age of 10 they disappear completely.
There are 2 types of hemangioma: "strawberry" and "cavernous." "Strawberry" mole soft to the touch, has a convex structure and color similar to the berry of the same name. Such birthmarks most often appear on the face of the child, as well as on the head, neck and neck, but their occurrence in other places, including even internal organs, is not ruled out.
"Cavernous" hemangioma looks a bit different. It has a violet, rich burgundy or bluish-gray hue, a denser structure that extends deep into the layers of the skin. Often, this spot is irregular in shape, consisting of one or several close to each other foci. Can appear on different parts of the body.
The parents are most upset with moles on the face and head of the child. But you just have to be patient, because such new formations disappear themselves. Usually they are not treated. It's just necessary to take all measures so that the baby does not damage such a birthmark, does not scratch it. After all, the main reason for the transformation of a birthmark into a life-threatening new growth is its trauma. And the larger the mole in size and the stronger it stands above the surface of the skin, the higher the probability of its damage.
Most often on the face and neck of the baby, you can find a mark such as a yellow or cream-red birthmark in a child, called in jest "bite of a stork" (or "kiss of an angel"). It can be a single spot of pink or cream color of large size or a cluster of several specks. Usually these marks disappear by the year, but there are cases that remain for a longer period.
It is more difficult with "wine spots" - flat smooth neoplasms of red-burgundy color. Such birthmarks in children also tend to increase with the growth of the child, but do not disappear with age. You can not delete them. You can only try to make them less noticeable with the help of home remedies to lighten stains on the skin or professional cosmetics. In some cases, you can recommend a course of infrared or laser therapy.
It is worth noting that some parents mistakenly believe that such a stain can be hidden behind the sun and allow the children to stay in the sun for a long time. Such a carefree attitude can only lead to a change in the color of the spot to a more saturated one, but does not hide the defect in any way. In addition, the increased exposure to ultraviolet rays of sunlight can lead to the degeneration of the mole.
A special place among birth marks is occupied by a hanging mole in a child. It can be located on the neck of the baby or under the arms. Can appear at any age. It looks like a mole like a small piece of hanging skin of a natural or darker color. The whole danger of a hanging birthmark is that it can not be broken and traumatized, while it can become the object of your baby's attention. You do not need to remove this birthmark yourself either if you care about your child's health. The most correct decision will be to consult a dermatologist for examination and advice, as well as close monitoring of the behavior of the hanging mole: for changing the color and size of the nevus.
Symptoms of degeneration of moles
In general, if the mole is not injured during life and does not undergo noticeable changes, it exists on the body of its owner for a long time without harming its health. This is typical mainly for small moles up to 6 mm in diameter. A dangerous birthmark in a child is one that has a size larger than 6 mm. It is not dangerous by itself, but by the fact that the risk of injury in such neoplasms is higher than in small spots.
The same applies to the child's convex birthmark. The baby, feeling for an unusual bump on the body, will pay special attention to it. He can always touch it, try to tear it off. The risk of injury to such birthmarks is very high, so we must closely monitor not only the behavior of the birthmark, but also the actions of the baby in relation to it.
A large mole in a child, whenever it appears and no matter how it looks, is undoubtedly the reason to show the baby to a dermatologist. The doctor will be able to assess the likelihood of degeneration of the birthmark in a malignant, and will necessarily give advice on the care of nevi.
The pathogenesis of the transformation of innocuous birthmarks and birthmarks in children into dangerous malignant neoplasms by physicians has not been fully studied yet, however, the reasons causing these changes are reliably determined. This trauma to the surface of the birthmark, unsuccessful attempts to remove birthmarks with dubious methods and means, as well as prolonged exposure to the sun without the necessary protection.
The consequences and complications of the influence of these reasons can be the most tragic. Trauma birthmarks can lead to the appearance of ulcers and bleeding from the nevus, which is very difficult to stop. At the site of the lesion, in this case in the area of the mole, a malignant tumor (melanoma, or skin cancer) can develop which has a very rapid development with multiple metastases to all parts of the body. At the same time, the initial symptoms of melanoma development revealed a 95% chance of successful treatment. If the disease is triggered, this probability drops to 20%, the remaining 80% of cases lead to the death of the patient.
Any birthmark on the baby's body requires attention from the parents. Periodic examination of moles will allow to notice the first signs of the change in the mole and its transformation into a malignant tumor. To such signs it is possible to carry:
- Asymmetry of the neoplasm (asymmetry). Ideally, the birthmark is a circle or an oval, the two halves of which are symmetrical (similar) to each other. If one side of the birthmark grows stronger than the other - this is an occasion to examine it.
- Uneven boundaries of the nevus (border irregularity). In normal healthy moles, the edges are always even. If the borders of the nevus become blurred, with cut edges - this is already one of the signs of the development of melanoma.
- Change in color (color). Normal is the homogeneous color of the pigmented spot. Inclusions of any color on the uniformly colored surface of the nevus become visible to the eye. Any strange birthmark in a child with an unusual color or shape should alarm guarding parents.
- The diameter of the mole (diameter). If the birthmark in diameter does not exceed 6 mm, then you do not need to contact a specialist. It is enough to have regular periodic control over it. Moles with a large diameter is better to immediately show the dermatologist in order to assess its development and growth.
- Variability of behavior (evolving). As a rule, a mole during a person's life does not undergo special changes. If any of the above characteristics begins to change, or several of them immediately, it is better to immediately show the child to a dermatologist or oncologist in order to prevent the sad consequences. The appearance around the nevus of a large number of others similar to it must also be cautious.
This method of examining the birthmark for good quality and safety is commonly called the ABCDE method.
Complications and consequences
Not all changes in moles in children and the area around them indicate a possible onset of skin cancer. For example, if a child has a mole, this can be both the onset of a pathological process and a natural physiological manifestation. After all, birthmarks grow with the children. To seem to the dermatologist in that case costs or stands, but in advance "to wind" itself it is not necessary. If the birthmark has significantly increased in size in a short period of time (within a month), then to debug the visit to the doctor is definitely not worth it.
A white stain around a mole in a child does not present a danger at all. This birthmark with contrast pigmentation is called Setton's nevus. It can be a consequence of sunburn on the skin, when a spot with intense pigmentation forms inside, and its halo does not have pigmentation at all. Such nevuses disappear after a few years on their own, leaving no traces behind them.
If a child has a mild toe, then this may be a manifestation of dry skin or a lack of vitamins in the body. And yet, not paying attention to this symptom is risky, because it can indicate the beginning of the degeneration of the mole, especially if other changes are also imposed.
Ambiguous attitude of physicians and the appearance of a rough mole in a child. On the one hand, a rough structure similar to a blackberry has intradermal birthmarks in infants, which are benign neoplasms. On the other hand, moles should have a fairly smooth surface, and the appearance of roughness should alert. Moreover, in the future, such a mole can crack and bleed, it can get an infection and lead to inflammation of the skin in this area and other dangerous consequences. In any case, the child should be shown to the dermatologist, who will tell you how to proceed further and whether it is worth worrying about the structure of the nevus.
If a child has a mole, this is often the result of her trauma. It is necessary to examine the nevus for damage and, if any, treat the wound with desalter. Do not wait until the pain passes, even if it is insignificant. It is better to immediately consult a doctor and thereby prevent negative consequences. The same thing should be done if there is no external damage, but the mole continues to hurt. This may indicate the onset of pathological changes in it.
The red color of a mole in children always worries parents. But some kinds of moles (angiomas) initially have this color and do not carry a danger if they are not injured. If the child's birthmark has turned red with a change in color to a more saturated color or has simply changed color from brown to red, this already indicates the presence of an inflammatory process in it, associated with trauma or exposure to ultraviolet rays. In this case, the visit to the dermatologist and even the oncologist should be immediate, in order to prevent the possible development of the tumor in time.
Diagnostics of the moles in a child
Noticing a strange birthmark on the child's body or finding out a suspicious change in it, parents immediately have a question: where to seek advice and where can we check the birthmarks of children for good quality? Dermatologists are engaged in diagnosis and prognosis of moles behavior, which means that first of all it is necessary to apply to them. If a dermatologist suspects the development of malignant processes in the mole, he can send a small patient for examination to a dermatooncologist, or, in the absence of a dermatologist, to an ordinary oncologist.
The most popular method of instrumental diagnosis of moles is dermatoscopy. In earlier times, a microscope was used for this purpose. In modern medical research, preference is given to a special device called the dermoscope, which allows for multiple increases to consider the slightest changes in the structure of moles in children and adults.
After the examination, the patient gets a photo of his birthmark on his hands with a full description of it. The results of dermascopic studies are further used in the differential diagnosis of nevi and their changes.
The second most popular, but even more accurate method for researching moles is the computer diagnosis of pigmented spots, or in scientific digital dermatoscopy. It allows you to get an image of a birthmark in a tenfold, and even a hundredfold increase, to determine with great accuracy all the parameters of the nevus and its boundaries.
High accuracy of the image allows you to consider the smallest nuances, such as pinpoint inclusions of melanin, slight changes in the color of inclusions and vessels on the surface of the skin. Some digital videodermoscopes are able to detect the presence of mutated cells that indicate the development of skin cancer.
Schematic representation of the location of moles on the patient's body is stored and entered in the database, which allows for a comparative analysis on subsequent visits to the doctor.
And yet, both these methods can only assume the presence of malignant processes in the mole, but only if histological tests (biopsy) are performed, after the removal of a suspicious tumor, can determine whether there is an oncology in this case or not. For histological examination, the surviving cells of the excised mole are taken.
Treatment of the moles in a child
Homeland - this is not a pimple, which in case of what can be burned with alcohol-containing remedy, and it will disappear. Treatment of moles is most often surgical or laser removal. Moles in children are removed mainly in the second way, as it is less painful and practically does not leave unaesthetic scars on the site of the lesion. In addition, laser therapy helps prevent the development of tumor metastasis.
Nevertheless, such operations are carried out more often in case of transformation of a good-quality mark in a malignant tumor. The second indication for the rapid removal of moles from children can be the size, shape and location of the mole, which greatly increases the likelihood of her traumatization, including clothing (around the neck around the collar, under the arms, on the palms and feet, etc.).
Conservative treatment of moles in children is very rare and according to the doctor. This takes into account the age and weight of the small patient. The same methods and means are used as for the treatment of adults. But sometimes the treatment can only exacerbate the process, so it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons a hundred times before deciding to take such a step.
Treatment without removing the mole is prescribed usually with red moles, and only if they change, begin to grow or there is a risk of frequent trauma to the nevus. For treatment of small angiomas, a doctor can prescribe cryo-destruction (low-temperature exposure for several seconds), which helps to solve the problem positively in 96% of cases.
Simple angiomas of large size can be subjected to hormonal therapy through medications. For this purpose, "Prednisolone" is used at a rate of 4-6 mg per 1 kg of the child's body weight, starting at the age of 2 months. Recommended two-time intake: a third of the daily dose at 6 am and two third at 9 pm. The course of treatment is 4 weeks after taking the drug every other day.
Intradermal modified moles in children on closed parts of the body are most often subject to laser removal. If such marks are observed on the face, sclerosing therapy may be used, when preparations are injected under the skin that lead to the death of the cells of the mole under the skin without damaging the outer layers. Such drugs include: quinine-urethane, hydrocortisone, 70% alcohol, 10% raster of sodium chloride. The course of treatment is long, is 10-15 injections, which are made every 2 weeks or once a month.
In the case of deep and extensive haemangiomas, the initiation of treatment is followed by angiography to determine the nature of the blood supply to the birthmark. Then, according to the indications, embolization with hydrogel is carried out, which reduces blood supply to the tumor and causes its decrease. The treatment with cryodestruction ends without further removal of the mole. She subsequently resolves herself, leaving behind her unattractive trace, which is removed by plastic surgery at a more adult age.
Alternative treatment of moles
It can not be said that alternative drugs are useless or even dangerous for the treatment of moles. But when it comes to the child, before using such a tool, it is necessary to examine the baby from a dermatologist in order to exclude the probability of the birth of a birthmark into a cancer tumor. After all, alternative drugs can "pinpoint" the birthmark or lighten it, but to combat skin cancer they are not suitable.
In the presence of malignant processes, such treatment can only worsen the situation, and you will lose valuable time. Any treatment of moles in children should be carried out only after detailed consultation with the doctor about the use of various methods and means, including alternative medicine.
For those who still decide to try out old grandmothers or more modern alternative methods for dealing with moles, we give some recipes:
- Hydrogen peroxide applied to the mole 3 times a day will help to get rid of it permanently within a week or make the pigment spot less noticeable.
- Juice of garlic and lemon. Alternately, spread the moles with one or another juice several times a day for a week, until they disappear.
- You can lubricate the birthmark with a mixture of crushed chalk and hemp oil. It seems to help make the birthmark less visible.
- Sometimes for the removal of a birthmark used onion juice, which is applied to the nevus several times a day.
- You can lubricate the birthmark with honey until it disappears. This delicious recipe will not do harm and will even please your baby if he does not have allergies to beekeeping products.
- Kashitsa from a black radish helps to get rid of a birthmark if to impose it on a stain 4 times a day, pasting with a plaster.
- You can also do it yourself with a gruel of an unripe apple, mixed in equal proportions with honey.
- Applying mash from a raw potato to a mole helps to reduce pigmentation of the mole to a barely noticeable speck.
In alternative medicine for the removal and clarification of moles in children and adults, herbal therapy is also used .
- Juice grass spurge helps to get rid of a mole if you lubricate it nevus for a long time.
- A good effect is imposed on the birthmark of the crushed dandelion root. Do this every day, leaving the composition for several hours, fixing the place with adhesive tape.
- The celandine juice acts like hydrogen peroxide when used three times a day.
- Lighten the birthmark will help lubricating her with parsley juice several times a day.
As we see, in alternative medicine for fighting moles are used as sparing, and rather aggressive methods. And to check them on your child or not, it's up to you, parents.
It is impossible to protect a child from the appearance of moles, since heredity plays a decisive role in their occurrence. Nevertheless, some precautions should be taken, because this will determine the prognosis of neoplasm development: will it remain harmless throughout the life of the baby or turn into the strongest "headache" for parents and the child.
This primarily relates to finding a child in the sun, especially in spring and summer. The head of a small child must necessarily be covered with a panama or a kerchief, the rest of the skin with a light "breathable" clothing. This measure prevents the appearance of new nevi, as well as the degeneration of the already existing ones.
Unprotected body parts, especially during the stay on the beach, must be lubricated with sunscreen. Today, there are a lot of children's products from the sun in the form of creams, emulsions, sprays and milk for the body with various degrees of protection from the negative effects of UV rays.
Watch your child, and if you notice the increased attention to the birthmark on his part, try to explain that you can not touch and scratch the birthmark. If the child is small, you can try to hide the birthmark under your clothes, but in no case under the band-aid. Teenagers can try to get rid of the hated birthmark on their own. Explain to them that you do not need to do this without consulting your doctor.
Birthmarks, most prone to injury, it is better to remove immediately, without waiting for a sad event. This prevents damage to the nevus, which can subsequently lead to the development of melanoma.
Systematic examination of moles in a child, helping to identify pathological changes at an early stage of the disease, makes the prognosis of treatment of dangerous nevi generally positive. In 95% of cases of development of melanoma in place of moles comes a complete cure.
Moles and birthmarks are areas of reduced immunity to the skin, which means that they are more prone to negative degeneration than others. In addition, they often cause increased interest in small researchers who may inadvertently damage the nevus, especially if it is significantly prominent above the surface of the skin, as in the case of hanging moles, or has a bright color in angiomas. That is why moles in children should always remain the object of close attention of their parents, because untimely or incorrect treatment of such neoplasms can cost a child a life.