Mongolian spots

Mongolian spots

Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

Alternative Names: Mongolian blue spot, child fleck, sacral fleck, newborn blue fleck, newborn sacral blue fleck, Semitic mark, Semitic stain, congenital dermal melanocytosis, dermal melanocytosis.

Mongolian spots are flat, irregular-shaped birthmarks commonly seen among people of Asian, East Indian, African, or Latino descent. According to the AJD (American Journal of Dermatology), at least 90 percent of people of African heritage have these marks, as do over 80 percent of Asians. Despite the name, Mongolian spots have no known anthropologic significance, except for being more common in darker-skinned infants.

They do not spread but a person can have more than one spot.


    Persistent Mongolian spots are larger and have sharper borders. They may persist for many years.

  • Deep blue Mongolian spots are deeper colored and have sharper borders. They may persist as long as persistent Mongolian spots.

  • Ectopic Mongolian spots or aberrant Mongolian spots involve unusual areas such as the face or extremities.

Mongolian spots are caused by entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during their migration from the neural crest into the epidermis in fetal development. Microscopically dermal melanocytes are seen in all newborn babies irrespective of race. Differences in the number of dermal melanocytes may cause the racial variation.

These bluish to deep brown-black skin markings often appear on the base of the spine, on the buttocks and back, and sometimes on the ankles or wrists. Spots are caused by skin cells called melanocytes and have normal texture. They commonly appear at birth, or shortly after birth, and can look very much like bruises.

Mongolian spots are benign and are not associated with any illnesses or risk factors. They generally fade in a few years and disappear by puberty. Though they sometimes persist into adulthood, there is no need for treatment.


Mongolian spots are noncancerous skin markings and are not associated with disease. The markings may cover a large area of the back.Mongolian spots may be single or multiple, and they range in size from a few millimeters to 10 centimeters or more in diameter. They are present at birth and, due to their appearance, can be confused for a bruise.


No tests are needed. Your doctor can diagnose this condition by looking at the skin.


In most cases, no treatment is needed for the birthmarks themselves. When birthmarks do require treatment, however, that treatment varies based on the kind of birthmark and its related conditions. Opaque cosmetics may be used as camouflage for Mongolian spots. The Q-switched alexandrite laser showed better outcomes in extra-sacral lesions treated at a younger age.

NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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