Science Questions

Sat, 2nd Oct 2004

Part of the show Skin Diseases and Skin Cancer

Question

Drew asked:

What are 'birthmarks' - do they really exist ?

Answer

Birthmarks are marks that appear at birth. There are two main types; blood vessel mark like President Gorbechav had on top of his head. The other sort of common birth mark, is a big brown mole which can be present at birth. They can come in all sorts of sizes, from just a few millimetres across to many centimetres - 10cm or more. Most people are born with very many moles, and you tend to develop them as you grow up. Most moles are developed during childhood, but there's often a boost in the number during puberty, and some during early adulthood, but not very many tend to develop later on in life.

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