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A question for parents of children with birthmarks

(24 Posts)
hellocornflakegirl Sun 12-Jun-16 17:59:52

Our little girl has a relatively large and noticeable brown birthmark on one of her limbs, (trying not to out self!).

Since she was born (she's a preschooler now), we have been very certain that we would never consider having it removed for cosmetic reasons, and that it is simply part and parcel of who she is (which it is!). We are very aware that this is not a health issue and that we are fortunate that our child is well and healthy.

We've never covered her birthmark up or made any particular comment on it, and I want to make very clear here that we (obviously) have absolutely no issue with it in terms of its appearance - we would never dream of hiding it or feeling ashamed or anything along those lines.

But as she gets older, we are becoming more and more worried that other children will make fun of her, and that this will cause her upset. We are also worried that if she gets comments on it, it might put her off 'exposing' it which could put her off being active / sporty / swimming etc due to the clothes needed etc. In an ideal world we would love for her to be confident enough to just say 'Yeah, it's my birthmark, no big deal', but we worry this might be horribly idealist.

Can anyone share their experiences of how their children have managed with visible birthmarks please? Do other kids tend to take them in their stride or do they provide a focus for bullying? How do you help your children to deal with any unpleasant comments?

We are beginning to wonder whether we would consider having it removed (if doctors would even agree to it) IF and only if she herself ever wanted that and was old enough to understand the notion fully. But that seems like such a defeatist solution, not to mention clinically unnecessary.

Please help us unwrap this in our minds. Thank you.

DixieNormas Sun 12-Jun-16 18:11:28

Ds1 has a brown birthmark under his knee, it's never been an issue and he's never complained about people bullying him about it. He's 21 now

ds2 is 13 and has a different type of birthmark on his cheek, it's raised and quite bumpy. People have thought it is eczema in the past. We decided we would leave it up to him to decide if he wanted it removed and so far he doesnt

TheDuchyOfGrandFenwick Sun 12-Jun-16 18:13:56

She could always use cover makeup (waterproof so swimming is fine) in the future she decides it's a problem.

Shannaratiger Sun 12-Jun-16 18:17:23

Dd 12 has a strawberry birthmark on her neck. She has been teased about it and maybe would like it to go. Might take her t the doctors over holiday to discuss it. Obviously her treatment would only be laser so probably a different op to your Dd.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 12-Jun-16 18:18:16

My child doesn't have a birth mark however I remember at primary school (in the 90's) it was considered really cool to have one.

Jaguarana Sun 12-Jun-16 18:19:15

My niece has one. As far as I know there was never any bullying because of it at school & she was OK with it being there. However, she became more self conscious about it in her teenage years and has now had laser treatment to remove it. It was totally her choice, and the removal has been very successful.

PinkBuffalo Sun 12-Jun-16 18:23:32

I don't have children, but I had a large dark brown birth mark on one thigh. It was quite prominent when I was a child. Now I am in my early 30s, it has faded quite a bit and I barely notice it. It is more a very light brown now.
I never got many comments when I was young other than the "is that a birthmark" questions from kids. But I was also born with quite a severe cleft lip so all my surgeries were surrounding that rather than birthmarks.
Hope this helps in some way.

Micah Sun 12-Jun-16 18:30:01

I have a facial birthmark.

I am not bothered about it, never have been. So any comments at school were batted away fairly easily.

Just be careful- what did bother me is i used to get dragged to the dr's on a regular basis to "see if they can do anything about it". My mum and the dr would sit and discuss me, with me just thinking but it isn't a problem. One particularly insensitive dr said "well it is rather unsightly, isn't it", before writing the referral.

I'd wait until your child raises it, then have the discussion about what to do, if anytging.

TheWeeBabySeamus1 Sun 12-Jun-16 18:41:16

I have a large port wine stain on my left arm. It would've never occurred to my mum to have it removed as it wasn't causing any health issues.

I don't remember anyone as a child/teen being horrible about it (which is odd as I was once mocked for a week for wearing a lace headband - teenage boys are really mean grin ). The only time it was mentioned was when they first noticed it as it changed colour and in hot weather it looks like a burn. Once I said it was a birthmark they just went "Ok" and it was never mentioned again.

I've had more comments as an adult to be honest "Oh, it looks awful, can't you have it removed?" but I'm old enough to not let it bother me. I think children are a lot more accepting of these things than "grown ups" can be at times.

Ouryve Sun 12-Jun-16 18:42:40

Ds1 has a large brown birthmark on his calf. Never bothered him and it is fading now he's approaching his teens.

AlfrescoBalconyWanker Sun 12-Jun-16 18:45:44

I have a facial birthmark and the only issue was being sent home from nursery and school because it was thought to be impetigo. Clearly having appeared overnight both times hmm

No one else has ever mentioned it apart from some stupid sales rep at work accusing me of having lipstick on my cheek and trying to scrape it off, then saying how disgusting it was and I should be made to cover it up angry

branofthemist Sun 12-Jun-16 18:56:52

Both me and Dd have birth marks. Never caused me a problem. No bullying for either of us based on birth marks.

I think you are worrying about this far before you need to

DanaBarrett Sun 12-Jun-16 19:03:30

My daughter was born with a vascular birthmark, it kept getting bashed and bruised very easily. We were referred to Mr. Muir at James Cook Hospital, he's absolutely excellent and very skilled. He uses a different technique to the traditional laser treatments, and we've had fabulous results from him. We were only referred by good luck, but his case studies are worth a look.
southtees.nhs.uk/services/plastic-surgery/vascular-birthmark-clinic/

Pteranodon Sun 12-Jun-16 19:05:27

Alfresco that's awful!

My son has a facial birthmark and he was looking in the mirror with his Grandad when he first asked what it was. I held my breath, had been upset for him about it all his life (while recognising it's not the end of the world). His Grandad didn't miss a beat: 'That's your Louie-mark', utterly confidently. That's how he's referred to it himself since, he is now 7, confidently and happily. (He is home educated so not been in school but loads of group situations.)

Pteranodon Sun 12-Jun-16 19:06:18

(I love my FIL)

Mner Sun 12-Jun-16 19:10:21

I have a red one on my finger. I barely even notice it is there anymore until someone asks me about it.

Over the yrs, lots of people have commented on it as it looks like I've burned myself. Some people have refused to believe it is a birth mark hmm.

I remember when was young, my mum did offer once to get it removed. I've never been that bothered by it, and it did teach me left from right so I found it useful.

grounddown Sun 12-Jun-16 19:17:33

My DD has an haemanginoma (strawberry birthmark) under her lip which is about the size of a 20p. People do notice it and she has recently asked if I could make it go away as kids at school must have mentioned it but I have been reassured that it will fade. There's no way I would be persuaded to have it removed at her age (4). I've spoken to her about what it is and told her to tell people exactly what it is when asked. The man in the post office asked if it was a cigarette burn hmm cheeky twat.

She also has a large one on another part of her body, it started off huge and has halved in size. We are not fussed about that yet but I'm guessing it will continue to disappear before she's a teenager.

If they are still there when she is older she can make the decision to remove them but I worry about scarring.

mamas12 Sun 12-Jun-16 19:31:49

Dd born with strawberry mark of lower rib, was told it would fade when she's two, she's twenty two and she has spider viens left there with what looks like a scar. She had some comments and didn't wear crop tops or bikinis for a while but otherwise ok
Ds born with a port wine stain on whole side of face and neck. Went through laser treatment and it worked well, but I couldn't take it anymore to complete the treatment for the whole area so we decided to leave until,he said he wanted to do more. He's decided. It to.
He's left with some slight marking so looking like someone's left a lipstick kiss on him. He just tell people straight, it s a birthmark
What I would if I were you is get some information.
Ds had to go u der general anaesthetic nine times and it still didn't disappear completely but we are all quite happy with it.
Give her the basic answers that I gave mine and tell people it's just a birthmark

CheekyMcgee Sun 12-Jun-16 19:44:01

The charity Changing Faces offers fab support to people with facial differences, skin conditions, birth marks, scars etc. Check out their website if you need support: www.changingfaces.org.uk

Janefromuptheshops Sun 12-Jun-16 19:48:27

DS has one on his arse which surprisingly has never bothered him!

However his best mate at school was born with only two fingers on one hand. He is the coolest most popular kid in school. DS said nobody says anything about it.

icclemunchy Sun 12-Jun-16 19:53:44

DD1 has a large strawberry hemangioma covering her lover lip/chin. It was treated with propanolol when she was tiny because the grown affected her feeding but we stopped once it stopped growing.

We'd been advised it should be gone by the time she's 6 but she's 5.5 and although smaller and lighter it's still very obviously there.

I had a few comments from adults when she was little but we've honestly never had any real problems. Some confusion from older people who think she has jam on her face grin but since she was about 3 she's always answered any questions with "it's a birthmark" and more recently added a roll of her eyes too it blush

CrumpetandSausage Sun 12-Jun-16 19:59:16

Dd has a largish birthmark on her thigh by her knee. Adults tend to mistake it for a large bruise. When she started reception she got upset because the other children kept asking her what it is but now they're all used to it and she's not mentioned it again. Currently it doesn't bother her. She did manage to bump it and it bled impressively.

hellocornflakegirl Sun 12-Jun-16 20:44:44

Wow thank you so much everyone for your replies, I really appreciate that so many people have shared their thoughts and experiences, it's given me a lot of hope and lots to think about.

hellocornflakegirl Sun 12-Jun-16 20:46:01

(Hope that DD won't necessarily get the hard time I've been worrying about, I mean)

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