Eli5 what is birthmark?


80% of my body is covered in strawberry birthmark. I’ve had it since I was born. My mum thought that as I grew it would become smaller on me, but it grew with me. It turns blue when I’m cold. No doctor can explain what causes it? It looks and feels like normal skin and could be removed with laser treatment, by bursting the blood vessels apparently…similar to how tattoos are removed.

In: 90

Sounds like a vascular birthmark. Basically your blood vessels formed a bit weirdly and you have more blood flowing in that area. Very rarely associated with various health risks but if you’ve consulted a doctor they probably already screened for those. They can be removed with laser treatments (like you said), or medicine that works to reduce blood flow in the area.

The other type of birthmark is a pigmented birthmark, where parts of the skin end up with more color. That’s actually how moles form. They mostly tend to be darker though, like a tan.

The cause is unknown, since we can’t really get a good look at a fetus as it’s developing, but we have a pretty solid grasp on what they are.

Sounds to me like a port wine stain, I have one on my neck. Met a guy a few years back who had coverage over around 80% of his body too, was waaaay bigger than mine but it was awesome. I hated mine growing up but have come to love it. They are rare and like a natural tattoo.

Those are often called port wine stains. I have one on my leg. I think they look cool!


I had a friend whose daughter was born with a pretty big one on her face. The doctors told them that they could do the laser treatment, but he would have had to hold his toddler down while they did that to her face. He decided that was not something they were going to do.

It’s a hard call because of course there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it and it looks cool. On the other hand kids can be mean. So it was a tough choice. I think they made the right call but it wasn’t an easy one and they spent a lot of time thinking about it.

I’ve also had it called angel’s kiss which i think sounds cool lol.

As others have said, it’s a port wine stain. I have a large one on my face right below my eye covering about 80% of my cheek. It turns blue/purple when I get REALLY cold, and it’s how my parents knew to call me inside when I would play in the snow.

Most people in my life forget I even have it, and I don’t even see it on my own face anymore when I look in the mirror unless I make a point to look at it. I personally think it’s a great people filter. Anyone who is willing to make a comment about it as soon as they meet me is usually a rude person, and not worth getting to know.