Birthmark on a child's face

[deleted account] ( 37 moms have responded )

One of my 3 1/2 YO twins has a thumbprint sized (my thumbprint), dark brown birthmark on his forehead above his eyebrow. He started preschool this Fall and has been teased about it. He is now asking if we can fade or remove his birthmark. I'm planning to consult with a dermatologist to see what our options are, but I'm also a little torn about whether we should consider removing it. One, he's very young. Two, it gives him character. Both my husband and I have birthmarks, but ours aren't on our faces. I was also teased about my birthmark when I was a kid so I definitely feel for him. He's asked about having it faded every day for the last two weeks. It's extremely prominate on his blonde-haired, blue eyed face and I'm sure he is probably going to be teased about it all his life if we leave it. Actually, when he was a baby, people used to comment about it all the time. Any thoughts? If this was your child, would you allow him to have it removed?


Jane - posted on 10/24/2011




I also would go to a dermatologist just to see what the options are. I would hesitate to put my child through a major procedure of some sort solely for cosmetic reasons, but some birthmarks can turn into problems later in life. So I would have it evaluated. If it is one of the birthmarks that can become a problem in terms of health then I wouldn't hesitate to remove it.

If possible I would prefer to help my child learn how to cope with teasing. Perhaps you could give him a deadline - if the teasing hasn't stopped by a certain date, then look into removal.

In the meantime, you should go to his teacher to make sure she is aware of the teasing so that she can step in. It is not good to be teased, but it is also not good for children to learn that teasing others is acceptable.

JuLeah - posted on 10/24/2011




At 3.5 he's been teased?? How did he even know it might be removed?

This would make sense if he were 13

By age 13 odds are the mark will fade anyway. Teach him to be proud of who he is. We don't run out and get a nose job because a classmate doesn't like the one we have.

Many good lessons can be learned here

Jane - posted on 10/25/2011




Since his birthmark is changing I would definitely have a dermatologist look at it. If there is a possibility that it will enlarge it might be wise to remove it now, as excising it will leave a scar. Most of these birthmarks are benign, but even some of the benign ones can cause problems over time.

Jackie - posted on 09/06/2014




I have a LOT of birthmarks, some on my face. I wish Harry potter had been around, I would have said it was my own super-villan mark and I was special. :D See if you can make it into something fun?

Jurnee - posted on 10/25/2011




From a medical view I would definitely have it looked at by a derm. Moles that grow or change shape, or color could be problematic.


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Kyro - posted on 05/19/2014




I'm not a mom, but I was doing research into my birthmark, which is exactly the location you said his is in. When I was tiny, it was huge, now, I'm 25, and its all but gone. My friends don't even notice it, and when they do, they freak out and ask me if I'm ok, because it looks like a small bruise. I remember begging for the removal or fading of mine, constantly, but since thoughts are things, and my heart was set for it to fade, it went fast. Now I actually miss it. I guess what I'm trying to say, is tell him that his birthmark is lucky, and the other kids are just upset that they'll never experience the amazing things he will one day. If my elders had told me that, I would have been better able to release the pent up anger, and grudges so much sooner. Just let him know, from one with the same mark, to him, if he gets rid of it, how will God find all his soldiers? (or you can word it depending on your beliefs) I've only met one other person with a mark like mine.

Theo - posted on 01/27/2013




Take it off his face he will like life a little better trust me the pain sucks

April - posted on 10/28/2011




I had a birthmark on my face, but didn't have it removed until age 26! They used a pen-like laser to remove it--it worked by freezing the birthmark off my face. It wasn't painful, but a child might consider extreme cold on the face to be painful. It might be too scary for him. FYI--mine is actually starting to come back 3 years later. Even if it is faded, it could reappear.

[deleted account]

First i would speak with your childs carers in preschool.Its amazing what a little talk about being different&it being okay can do.Children are very curious but in a setting like preschool i would be very observant as to how the children speak about the birth mark and i would really not allow personal remarks to made about another child.Did the preschool say anything about remarks or was it your son who told you.?

They are kids and we have to teach them right from wrong and to accept one another.Your son is not there to be looked at or talked about.I would be surprised if the preschool have not picked up on it.

Its amazing what kids will pick up on and talk about concerning other kids from there speech to what they eat etc.As carers we have to be observant and be willing to step in to stop children from becoming a target.

See how that goes.Teaches your son about accepting himself also.I speak from experience as a childcare supervisor.

If things do not change then look at removing it as an option down the line.I don't think removing it will be to difficult..a scar maybe at most.That will fade even if its a keloid scar.

Celeste - posted on 10/27/2011




Honestly, I'm not sure. I can absolutely see your point. If I had researched it, and in your case, if he's truly unhappy with it, I would think about it. Just trying to give you something to think about it from a parent whose children don't have that option.

I just hate that other kids are making him feel so bad that he wants to have it removed.

[deleted account]

Celeste -- if your child merely had one small birthmark that was easily removed and they were asking to have it removed, are you saying you would tell them no? I understand you can't fix your children's situation, but my son's situation IS fixable. Whether or not we are going to is a different issue, and kids will always find something to pick on other kids about, but when something is such a big issue for a child and is so easy to remedy, maybe you should just remedy it.

I also want to add that it is not just kids. Adults frequently make comments about it too. He even told me that someone told him it would turn into cancer yesterday. I find it hard to believe he picked that up from another three year old.

Celeste - posted on 10/27/2011




OK, I'm going to be honest. This is really bothering me because my kids live with this every day. They have birthmarks all over their bodies because of their genetic disorder, and some of them are pretty prominent. Not only that, but one of my kids has a large tumor underneath her tongue that's pretty noticeable. She CAN'T have it removed. As she gets older, she might get more tumors all over her body and the tumor under her tongue can get bigger. It really bothers me because I feel like if something's too big and someone's going to make fun of them, then let's go fix it. Kids will find another thing to make fun of..

My kids' tumors and birthmarks CAN'T be removed, and won't be removed UNLESS it's causing a medical issue. And even then, it may not be able to be removed..

My daughter's 9, and of course she wishes she didn't have these issues. But, she's handled it beautifully. If someone does start bullying her and making fun of her, I plan on going to her class and explaining to them what it is that she has..

I don't know, maybe I'll feel differently in a few years..

Tara - posted on 10/27/2011




Just wait and see what your options are, but yes if it were my child and it bothered them that much and the teasing was not going to let up, I would probably have it removed.
That said, I have a birthmark on the inside of my left knee, it's a strawberry coloured blotchy mark that is mottled and covers about 3 square inches. but with normal skin spattered in between. I was teased all the time in school to the point that I wouldn't wear shorts or dresses that exposed my knees from grade 4 until about grade 8, when I realized that I was stuck with it, (I didn't know if I had options or not, I just knew I was born with it so it was mine) and it hasn't ever really bothered me, in fact when people ask if I have a birth mark I often forget about mine!
It would be a different story though if it had been on my face I assure you.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/27/2011




Having a dermatologist take a look at it does not set it in stone that you will get it removed. BUT it may set your mind at ease about the procedure, and of course to make sure it is a normal birthmark.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/27/2011




I would not have any issues removing it. It is something he is going to live with the rest of his life, and while moms like us love it because it is a part of him, kids feel differently about things like this. Especially school age kids that are getting tormented at such a young age. I am not all about being the same, I love all the quirks that make us different. But, I am not the one that is asking for it to be removed.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/27/2011




I still say talk with the school. Maybe see if you can talk to the girl's parents because it's pretty screwed up that at 3 years old she thinks it's fine to be nasty to other kids. Also see a derm about the changing of his birthmark because that's not normal.

Jennifer - posted on 10/27/2011




I wouldn't hesitate for a moment. I would have it removed. Kids will find ANYTHING to tease a child about and there is no sense giving them a reason when it is avoidable. Teen Depression and suicide are widespread problems. Kids are actually killing themselves over being picked on. There are enough things in this world to be depressed about and kids have it hard enough in school without putting them in a position to be the underdog their entire life. If he is asking every day, he is most likely being tormented every day.

Angela - posted on 10/26/2011




I think I would be just as torn as you are. I know when I have to make a hard decision I just get as much info as possible. I then weigh out the pros and cons. Not to matter what choice you make Iam sure you will make a good one for your son. Good luck.
I am so sorry to hear of kids teasing at this age. So far my daughter's preschool does not have this issue as far as I am aware of.

Jocelyn - posted on 10/25/2011




I had a huge brown birth mark on my leg and FINALLY started getting it removed when I was 12. I wish my parents had done it sooner!!!
I'd definitely see a Derm (because it's shouldn't be changing) but for now you could always get him some makeup to cover it. There are makeup brands specially formulated to cover skin discolorations/scars/etc. I used CoverFX and really liked it (to cover my stretch marks in my maternity photos lol)

Tammy - posted on 10/25/2011




I would get it removed as soon as possible. You may think it gives him character, but it could become a self esteem issue for him, especially if the kids are beginning to tease him so young.

I, myself have never been comfortable wearing a swimsuit, even as a kid, because I have a large birthmark on the back of my upper thigh. Kids, even adults can be cruel...

Jennifer - posted on 10/25/2011




I think because of where the birthmark is and the changes that are happening to it I would have it looked at to make sure its not going to cause him any medical issues. The dermatologist will give you all of the options that are available and I'm pretty sure will not want to "jump" right into a procedure of any kind without a few visits or trying other options before a surgical procedure of any kind would be done if for no other reason that your son is 3 1/2.
As for the little girl that is teasing him, it makes you wonder why her parents are letting her think that it is ok to be a bully! I have been the biggest thorn in the school's side where my kids are concerned if I dont feel that an issue is being taken care of to my satisifaction including meetings with the principal and talking to the teachers. I have "threatened" to be there every single day, all day long if something wasnt done immediately to take care of this issue, my 11 yr old was jumped in his class over asking another boy to give him back his own erasers and is now currently being teased by girls in his class because he went on a walk to support Breast Cancer. The girls in question spread around the entire school that my son has Breast Cancer now while the boys in his class are sticking up for him. I would hate to see it come to this point with your son as kids can and often are mean and nasty about certain things they dont understand.
Maybe you can discuss with the teacher about a show and tell type day where you discuss with the class what the birthmark is and let them ask questions, maybe after your consult with the dermatologist so you have more answers yourself. It might help the other kids to understand its nothing that they will "catch" and there's no need to be worried by it.
Hope things work out for you and your son and you can find an answer that will work best for both of you.

Ez - posted on 10/25/2011




Since the birthmark is changing and growing, I would certainly see a dermatologist about it. Not necessarily for the cosmetic reason, but to be sure it isn't something that needs medical attention.

It's awful that your little boy is having to deal with this. And if a doctor finds that there is a medical indication for treatment (like it is going to continue growing, or could turn nasty and get infected etc), I would not hesitate to go ahead with it. But if it's purely a cosmetic issue, I would wait and see what it does. I would be concerned about the sort of message a cosmetic procedure would send a child this age. You don't want him growing up thinking he was born anything other than perfect.

I also agree with the other comments about following up with the school, and spending some time focusing on building his self esteem and tools for dealing with bullying.

Good luck!

Merry - posted on 10/25/2011




I would be torn. Part of me would want to protect my child, ie remove or fade it

Part of me would want to empower my child and leave it there.

I guess I'd talk to a specialist, and then try to empower him and talk to teachers and other parents etc and if none of it works and 6 mo from now hes still miserable I'd get it faded.

These early experiences WILL affect who he becomes, it's a sensitive time as he's still becoming who he will be and if he isn't able to overcome the bullying without being scarred emotionally I'd want to prevent mental damage to him.

Teasing can permanently alter a kids perspective on life! Especially at such a young age. It's not a case of telling him to buck up and deal with it.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 10/25/2011




I'm sorry your child has to go through bullying. It's just something that makes him different. Since your son is so young instead of just altering his image I'd go to the teachers and ask if they could talk about not calling names and bullying. My daughter's grade 1 teacher told them the story of the crumpled heart and how names can hurt on the first day of school. I believe the younger and earlier teachers can address the issue of teasing and bullying the sooner it can be nipped in the bud.

My daughter has a simular issue that she was born with. The middle toe on her left foot didn't form all the way because amniotic fluid formed a band and wrapped around it. So the middle toe is thinner than the rest of her toes and has a bud on the top where the 2nd joint would be. My family has always called it her lucky toe. She has no trouble showing it to people- even random strangers. And thankfully no one's said anything about it.

I would speak with a dermatologist though and find out when he could get something done about it. But I also stick with my first suggestion.

Celeste - posted on 10/25/2011




So sorry you're having to deal with this..I can relate.

Two of my kids have a genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis. Part of this disorder involves many birth marks called cafe au laits. They are light brown birthmarks. She has them all over her body, including several on her face and neck. She also a large tumor underneath her tongue that is quite obvious..

I don't plan on removing any of her birthmarks. Kids have asked her about her tumor, and she handles it by saying "I was born with it".

We have talked to her about being proud of who she is, and she's unique and I believe that has given her confidence despite the birthmarks and tumor that she has.

I would definitely research it but I'd also talk to your son as best you can at that age.

Good luck to you and my heart goes out to you guys!

Lacye - posted on 10/25/2011




My step brother had a strawberry birthmark leading from his mouth to his chin. It looked like he spilled some coolaid on his face. My step mother had it faded when he was about 8 I think because one day he was being mean to me and I told him he had a coolaid face.

The birthmark does make him an easy target for bullies but it is a part of who he is. Have they done anything to the little girl about teasing him and bullying him? I'm not sure if I would personally have it done with him being so young. If you do decide to do it, wait until he is older.

[deleted account]

If I were in your shoes, I would definitely consult with the dermatologist. If there is a simple, non-invasive option, then I would say to go for it. If it is more involved than that, perhaps wait.

Kids can be cruel. We can control what we teach our own kids, but we cannot control what others will say or do to our kids and how those comments can hurt their self esteem and confidence. I agree it is good to teach him to accept himself and his differences, but I think it is cruel to force him to endure years of teasing and standing up to others just to prove a point. Standing up to kids is a great thing to understand how to do, but it's not pleasant, and no matter how often we do it, it doesn't get any easier or any more pleasant--why put him through having to constantly stand up for himself, over and over again when a simple procedure, or sometimes even just a prescription cream, can fade the mark?

If the procedure is invasive or complicated, I might wait for a few years and teach him to handle it for now. If the teasing eases up, then that is wonderful, and you won't have to do it, but there will be new teasing every time he enters a new situation with new people. People of ALL ages can be cruel--they shouldn't be, but they are.

As for where he got the idea that it could be faded--it could be entirely his own idea. At 3, he does not know the limits of the world, so he believes anything can be done--including getting rid of his mark.

[deleted account]

Honestly, I can't imagine him without his little birthmark -- it part of who he is and it breaks my heart to hear him ask to have it removed. But I don't want him to be teased about it either.

[deleted account]

We have spoken to the school and they have spoken to the offender. It was a four YO girl. She had been making comments since the beginning of the school year about it (which we were aware of and had ongoing discussions about). It started with you have a polka dot, then moved to I don't like your polka dot, then to I don't like you because you have a polka dot, then to you can't play with us because you have a polka dot. It's a congential nevi -- AKA birthmark. He's had it since the day he was born. I was expecting it to fade as he got older, but it's actually gotten bigger and more "fleshy". It's also starting to get hairy (but the hair is blonde). As I mentioned, his Dad and I both have birthmarks, but they are on our legs. Mine is on my ankle and has faded a lot since I was a child, which is where he got the idea from that it could be "faded". We've shown him our birthmarks and told them why they are special, etc. I'm not sure where he's gotten the idea that it could be removed from -- I'm guessing another child. It's not just the kids at preschool -- the neighborhood kids have made comments about it as well. We've had all sorts of comments about it since he was born. When he was an infant, I literally had a man scream out at Target, "OH MY GOD -- WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS FOREHEAD!!" As if I put a cigarette out on his forehead or something. On one hand, I agree with JuLeah's sentiments -- I don't want to run him off to the plastic surgeon at the first sign of trouble. But by the flip side, it's something he's heard comment after comment after comment about it since the day he was born and it's starting to affect his self-esteem. It's not fading on its own and it's going to continue to be a source of comments/ridicule. I think we are going to consult with a dermatologist, see what the options are and go from there.

Becky - posted on 10/25/2011




I would wait. 3 is so young to be putting them through a cosmetic procedure and like others said, it might fade or shrink as he grows. Talk with him about how we are all unique and things like that make us special, and give him some tools to use when kids do tease him about it. I would also talk to the teacher about it, maybe she can do some teaching with the kids around differences in physical appearances and sensitivity to each other. There is no better time for kids to start to learn not to judge or tease each other based on our outer appearance!
If he is still very self-conscious about it in a few years - when he's 8-10ish, then I would talk to a dermatologist about your options.

Vicki - posted on 10/24/2011




Do you know what kind of mark it is? It may fade on its own anyway. I had a strawberry hemangioma just at the corner of my eye when I was little. It faded by about age 5 and now there's a teeny tiny indent that you can't see (because the crows feet disguise it lol). I don't ever remember being self conscious or teased, my Mum never mentioned anything.

Jenny - posted on 10/24/2011




My daughter had a stork bite on her forehead until she was 6. Thankfully we didn't come across any bullies so no damage done. It still gets red if she is really excited or angry. I hope it keeps working as a teen so I know when to steer clear lol.

I would wait it out for a few years and see if it it lightens to an acceptable level as he grows. Tell him it's just a concentration of pigment. Down the road if it is still a problem then I'd look into medical intervention. No sense making much ado about nothing with a 3 year old. My son is 3 1/2 too and something like that wouldn't even be on his radar. I'd be looking into where the bullying is coming from too.

[deleted account]

Kids are brutal... even at 3.

I think I would research options, but I honestly don't know what I would DO about those options yet.

Elfrieda - posted on 10/24/2011




I think it depends on your own attitude to it. Personally, I think I wouldn't talk about it in front of him to other adults (even neutral things, but especially expressing worry about him being teased or talking about removal) and just tell him a story about it that makes it seem a little special, like he's marked for a reason. But if it still bothered him at age 7 or 8, then I'd do something about it.

I find it strange that preschoolers would tease each other about appearances. Wouldn't it be enough for him to tell the other kids, "God was eating a chocolate bar when he made me" or similar? Wouldn't little kids just accept that?

But if it bothers you, I think you should go ahead and look at your options. If there is a low-risk procedure that works and you think it's for the best, go for it!

Iridescent - posted on 10/24/2011




I'd also consult with a dermatologist, simply because facial birthmarks are such a big deal. Second, I'd have a meeting with the school and find out their bullying policy and make sure it's enforced. If that means they actually use the video cameras in the classrooms and on recess, so be it. At 3.5 years old he should not be this self conscious regarding a part of himself. He should never be bullied, and at this age it should be the easiest to control. It needs to stop.

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