An angel kiss birthmark is characterized by a pink or pale red patch on a newborn's face. Known medically as nevus simplex, angel's kisses can affect babies of all races but are most common in Caucasian babies. These birthmarks are nothing to worry about and usually fade over time.
Angel Kiss Birthmark Common Locations
An angel kiss birthmark usually appears as a flat, pink, or salmon-hued patch on the skin with jagged edges. These birthmarks are vascular in nature and fall under the nevus simplex category of birthmarks. They are sometimes confused with stork bite birthmarks. But stork bites are vascular birthmarks found on the nape of the neck of newborns.
Angel kiss birthmarks are found on the face, most commonly:
- On one or both eyelids
- On the forehead
- In between the eyebrows
Angel kiss birthmarks often appear darker when the baby cries, when there are temperature changes, or when pressure is placed on the birthmark.
Why Is It Called An Angel Kiss?
There are many interpretations of the different meanings of birthmarks. Some people suggest that birthmarks occur due to the pregnant parent's cravings. For example, if you crave strawberries while pregnant, your child will be born with a red mark. Some people who believe in reincarnation suggest that birthmarks provide information about a child's past life, such as injuries or wounds they had in a previous life.
Angel kiss birthmarks are said by some to appear because an angel kissed the baby before or after he or she was born. Others suggest that angel kiss birthmarks are gifts from heaven and signify that the baby will grow up to be caring, kind, and enjoy family life.
Angel kiss birthmarks may also be called:
- Macular stain
- Nevus simplex
- Salmon patch birthmarks
Angel Kiss Birthmark Causes
Angel kisses are vascular birthmarks. According to the Cleveland Clinic, angel kiss birthmarks form when blood vessels stretch (dilate) under the skin during fetal development causing blood flow to increase to the area. This results in the angel kiss birthmark, which is present from birth.
Angel kiss birthmarks are not painful and are not caused by anything a pregnant parent eats or does during pregnancy. They are not believed to be genetic, but over 40% of newborns are born with these types of birthmarks.
Angel Kiss Birthmark: Diagnosis and Management
Infants who are born with an angel's kiss birthmark are often diagnosed at birth. If you notice your baby's birthmark when you come home from the hospital, talk to your pediatrician. They will examine your baby to provide an accurate diagnosis. Because angel kisses are so common, most healthcare providers can diagnose based on the appearance of the skin and do not require diagnostic tools to accurately identify an angel kiss.
Changes After Birth
Angel kiss birthmarks are temporary and fade over time. Research shows that most babies will lose their angel's kiss birthmark by one to two years of age. Even if the birthmark remains beyond when you expected it to fade, there is little chance that it will become darker over time. By comparison, stork bites appear on the nape of the neck and are usually permanent.
No treatment is required to remove an angel kiss birthmark. It's best to wait since it is very likely that it will disappear on its own. If your child's angel kiss has not faded well into their childhood, talk to their healthcare provider. If the birthmark is affecting your child's self-esteem, the angel kiss can be removed by laser treatment for cosmetic reasons.
When to Seek Medical Help
Since angel kisses are harmless, they do not require treatment and should begin to fade as your baby grows. See your baby's healthcare provider if:
- Your child's angel kiss changes color
- The birthmark grows in size
- The skin around the birthmark becomes swollen, red, or irritated
To Hide Or Not To Hide?
Your baby's birthmark does not define who they are. Some people may ask questions about what is on your baby's face. It may be helpful to have simple responses prepared ahead of time in the event you're out in public and surprised by an inquiry from a stranger. Embracing your baby's unique personality and appearance, including their birthmark, is a wonderful way to build a solid foundation of confidence, self-esteem, and self-love for your child.