Whether you call them stork bites or angel kisses, the reddish-pink or blue marks that show up on your baby can be a little disconcerting. What are these marks really, and how should you treat them?
Most newborns have a stork bite somewhere. They often show up on the eyelids, the back of the neck or the middle of the forehead. The little nips or patches of red are not rashes, but can be considered birthmarks.
What is really going on with stork bites is pretty normal. The thin skin of an infant allows an area that contains bunches of blood vessels to show through the skin, making the mark. The official name for these marks is nevi. There is really nothing that you need to do. As some of the excess blood vessels shrink and your baby’s skin thickens, these marks will disappear, usually by the time your baby is one year old. Some stork bites don’t completely go away, but these are generally the ones that appear at the nape of the neck. This makes them unnoticeable when your baby has hair.
Another interesting mark appears as a blue patch or blue vein either at the the bridge of the nose or on the side of the nose. This mark often makes parents concerned. It is present at birth, can persist for some time (my oldest child at almost eight still has his, as does his younger brother who is almost three) and can become more visible during crying or other straining.
Some old folklore says that if a baby is born with this blue vein that he or she won’t live. Of course this is nonsense, a superstition born of the need to have an explanation or two for the hight infant mortality rate in the past.
The blue vein is a pretty common trait and is usually present in a baby who has fair skin. This is just a part of your baby’s normal anatomy that is visible through the skin. The blue vein may not be as visible as a child grows older.
Although stork bites and blue veins are usually harmless, as with anything that is of concern to you, check with your child’s pediatrician to rule out a serious condition.
Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, creating a home in the Home Blog, caring for little ones in the Baby Blog and now relationships in the Marriage Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here or subscribe to the blog using the subscription box on the right.