Stork Bite (Angel Kisses or Salmon Patches)
Medically reviewed by
More than 3 million US cases per year
- Often self-diagnosable
- Symptoms: Flat, irregular patches
- Color: Typically salmon-colored
- Location: Most commonly on the forehead, eyelids and neck
- Treatment: NO treatment necessary; laser treatment
Stork bites and angel kisses are a common type of birthmark seen in newborns. These salmon-colored patches are temporary and benign. They usually appear more clearly when the child gets upset or screams.
These marks occur in nearly half of all newborns, due to a stretched out (dilated) blood vessels under thin skin. This is why it becomes darker or lighter, when the child cries, when temperature changes or when you put pressure on it.
Stork bites in the face tend to disappear spontaneously during the first years of life. However, stork bites in the neck could remain for a longer period of time or become permanent.
Symptoms of Stork Bite (Angel Kisses or Salmon Patches)
Stork bites manifest themselves as salmon-colored patches on the forehead, eyelids and neck. They can also appear on the back, legs and arms.
The marks are usually flat and in irregular shapes. However, some of them may appear as a bump. The size varies as well.
A newborn’s appearance changes as the skin develops and thickens. More than 95 percent of stork bite birthmarks lighten and fade away completely.
What can I do?
Do not blame yourself or think there is anything you could have done differently while pregnant. Birthmarks are extremely common and over 95 percent of stork bites lighten and fade away completely. There are no known cause to the birthmarks, thus no way to prevent them.
Should I seek medical care?
It is important to get your newborn’s skin checked out if an unknown mark appears spontaneously. You may want to make sure it is a stork bite or birthmark and not a skin disorder. However, if you are sure the patch is a birthmark, no medical attention is necessary.
Treatment for Stork Bite (Angel Kisses or Salmon Patches)
If a large birthmark does not disappear after several years, you may consider laser treatment. It can reduce the size and appearance of a stork bite.
Laser treatments target the blood vessels underneath the skin. They are painless and effective, but can take more than one treatment to receive the desired results.
If you decide against laser treatments, your child may be able to camouflage the birthmark with makeup later in life.
U.S National Library of Medicine. Stork bite. Available at: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001388.htm
Valencia Higuera. Medically Reviewed by Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB. Does My Baby Have a Stork Bite Birthmark? Healthline. Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/stork-bites
Stanford Medicine. Newborn Nursery at LPCH. Salmon Patch. Available at: http://newborns.stanford.edu/PhotoGallery/AngelKiss3.html
Image Courtesy of Teresahatfield via Wikicommons. Edited and watermarked by First Derm. Available at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stork_Bite.JPG
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