VBARS (vascular birthmarks, anomalies, and/or related syndromes)

You may browse the major categories of birthmark types by clicking on the images below.


only occurs in infants

Port Wine Stains

all ages

Vascular Malformations

all ages

Appears at or shortly after birth

Present at birth

May be present at birth. May appear suddenly at any age or may appear following illness or trauma or during times of hormone changes

Grows rapidly for first 0-9 months. Most stop growing between 6-18 months

Stays same until adulthood, may thicken with age or become cobbled

Most grow slowly from birth or may onset suddenly and have slow or intermittent growth

Stops growing by 18 months, but can take up to ten years to regress, often leaving a cosmetic deformity

Never go away, can stay the same thickness or may thicken with age

Never go away, usually grow with individual. May have growth spurts with hormone changes or from trauma or sickness.

May be raised, flat or both

flat at birth, may slightly thicken with age

Mostly thick and deep, may be diffused or focal

Can be inside or outside of body. Inside locations include brain, liver, intestines

Mostly on skin but can be on brain or behind eye

Can be inside or outside body, including on brain, liver, intestines, spine, stomach, or organs

Can ulcerate or bleed

Little blebs can bleed

Can result in bleeds

Stay same when sick, feels spongy

Same when sick, but change color with hot or cold

Lymphatic swell/shrink with respiratory illness. Venous fill when inverted, arterio-venous have pulse when pressed

Responds to steroids

Does not respond to steroids

Malformations usually do not respond to steroids except some lymphatic lesions

Some respond to laser

Respond to laser

Some respond to laser

Surgery can be indicated

Surgery rarely indicated

Surgery often indicated

Early intervention recommended but not always necessary

Early intervention recommended to prevent thickening

Early intervention recommended to minimize extent of surgery

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