Q&A: What is a stork bite and when will it fade?

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Question & Answer

Ahhh the good old myth about the stork delivering you your precious little one. If only it was that easy right?

If you’ve got a baby with a ‘stork bite’ (also known as angel kisses and salmon patches), you might not think it’s quite as cute as the story that goes with it. Don’t worry, we’re here to tell you when your bub’s stork bite birthmark will fade.

What is a stork bite?

A stork bite is just another name for a really common kind of birthmark. Scientifically they’re known as naevus simplex. They’re also sometimes referred to as angel kisses or salmon patches. It all depends on which version of the story you prefer really.

If you ask for the old wives’ tale version, a stork bite is a mark left on your little one from where the stork picked him or her up to carry them to you. Since you’ve already delivered a baby, we’re relatively confident that you now know very well that that’s not where babies come from!

How to identify a stork bite?

awake asian baby with stork bite

There are a few different kinds of birthmarks, and they all have slightly different characteristics. And it is important to get any mark you spot on your baby checked over by your healthcare provider.

If your baby does have a stork bite birthmark it will have the following features:

  • Pink in colour
  • Flat, irregular shaped markings
  • The skin texture is no different at the site of the mark. So you shouldn’t be able to feel the birthmark
  • Usually, they’re found on the back of the neck, eyelids, forehead, nose or lip area.
  • It may become more visible and change colour when your child is upset or too warm

Babies have been known to have more than one stork bite. So don’t be alarmed if your little one has a few marks that all look similar.

Some babies’ stork bites are present from birth, some appear in the first few months of life.

What causes a stork bite?

Another old wives’ tale is that birth trauma can cause a stork bite. Thankfully, just like the stork tale, we now know this isn’t true.

Birthmarks can sometimes be inherited, but it’s more likely thought to be caused by stretched or dilated blood vessels, or a concentration of immature blood vessels lying close under the skin. This is the same reason that stork bites may become more prominent when baby is crying or hot.

This kind of birthmark is not generally considered to be inherited or genetic.

Do I need to do anything to a stork bite?

It’s really important to know that stork bites are super common. Nearly half of all babies born will have one somewhere.

Other than getting a doctor to check over it when you first notice the mark, you really don’t need to do anything. They don’t cause your little one any discomfort, and they don’t require any kind of special skincare regime.

If the skin starts to crack or become itchy or inflamed, you should check in with your doctor and it’s likely that you’ll be dealing with a different kind of birthmark or skin condition.

When will a stork bite fade?

Stork Mark on sleeping baby

If you’re concerned that your baby will have a birthmark for the rest of their life, try not to worry. The good news is that most stork bites in the facial area will fade within the first 18 months of life.

Some larger stork bites, like those found on babies’ necks, are often permanent. However, removal is often possible with laser treatment.

Have any birthmarks checked by your healthcare provider. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful bundle that the stork had absolutely nothing to do with. Because it was all you, Mumma!

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