What are birthmarks? Why do some people have them? What is the science behind them?

Many of us are born with marks on our skin that stay with us for life, but what’s the deal with these marks and why do they happen in the first place? Birthmarks happen because of a mutation from abnormal pigment present in blood cells. The birthmark is formed because those abnormal pigment cells migrate to the site of skin where there are gaps between normal skin cells. Three dot triangle birthmark meaning?

The idea for Birthmark Psychology stems from my question about these strange veins on my arm called cutaneous leiomyoma or spider veins. I was able to find some information online about them, but it was very conflicting.

1. The explanation that I found that made the most sense is because of my genetics. If a gene is mutated in a cell and it doesn’t function properly, or if there is an enzyme deficiency in the cell, then the cells will not be able to fold correctly and therefore become abnormal. These abnormal cells then move to another location where there are cracks in our skin and can form into a birthmark on our arms or legs. Some people say that birthmarks are caused by scars from excessive or prolonged stretching of the skin, but others say they can occur from pregnancy if there is incorrect development of the placenta .

2. After reading some online research, I read that it is also possible for a baby’s skin to be damaged and divided into many smaller areas of tissue as they grow, causing the area of wounded skin to become an abnormal scar or birthmark. But these stories don’t make sense either because they say that it can happen after birth and again after childbirth with the uterus stretching too much and creating scars on your legs or arms. So what’s really causing these birthmarks?

3. There are other conditions that may cause abnormal pigment cells to form in our blood, such as hemi megalovirus (a type of herpes), syphilis (if untreated), HIV/AIDS, and leukemia . There have been many other proposed causes of birthmarks, including Lyme disease, lupus , and parasites . However, none of these other explanations make complete sense to me.

4. Many of us are born with very strange birthmarks that people in the medical community have never seen before. How do they know that it is an abnormal mark on your skin if nobody has ever seen it before? With this new knowledge we can get behind some of the myths about weird birthmarks and hopefully start getting to the bottom of this mystery!

5. It seems like any unusual mark on our skin is called a birthmark because society has made up the name from what we see on our skin as a strange thing that does not fit into normalcy. I was shocked that many doctors and nurses do not know what these birthmarks are called by their real scientific name!

6. Different types of birthmarks are caused by different things. The most common type is congenital urodelan nevus, which involves a waxy cork-screw shaped growth on the skin (gross…but whatever). No one knows as to why it occurs, but many doctors do not ever see one in their careers. I also happened to have one of these in my leg! They are often covered up with clothes and can be very hard to find unless you are looking for them.

7. Another common type is verrucous nevus . It is caused by a mutation within the cells that form keratin, which is an important protein in human skin and hair. I have many of these birthmarks on my body including hairless moles and lots of little black dots on my arms and legs from surgeries to remove them. These are really common among people of African American heritage, but can affect any race. The verrucous nevi can appear on the skin in patches or small groups, but are often covered up because it is a large or dark mark on your skin.

8. There is another rare type called port wine stain . These are caused by damage to the blood vessels of skin shortly after birth because of a low level of oxygen in the blood. This type of birthmark can appear anywhere on the body and are often red or purple. They appear on my hands and arms, making it very hard for me to find clothes that match my skin tone so I am not constantly reminded of them.

9. Another really rare type is called congenital melanocytic nevus . As you may have guessed by now, this type is also caused by a mutation in cells that form pigment. These spots can appear anywhere on your body, but mostly occur on your back and head. They can be very large and it is common for people to have multiple ones at once.


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