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Birthmarks – Diagnostic Tests

December 9, 2021


Birthmarks are usually identified just through a physical exam conducted by a pediatrician or a pediatric dermatologist. Sometimes other tests are needed to make sure the birthmark is really a birthmark and not something else such as cancer. A doctor may conduct a biopsy. In this procedure, an area of skin is removed and examined under a microscope to make sure the birthmark is benign and not cancerous. A doctor may also order an MRI. This skin allows the soft tissues, blood vessels and organs to be seen. The MRI can ensure that a hemangioma or strawberry birthmark has fast flowing blood like it should through the area, which means it doesn’t likely need further treatment unless it’s located in an area that could cause issues, such as blocking an airway or limiting vision. Additionally, if a baby has six or more hemangiomas, an MRI or ultrasound might be needed to make sure there are not more hemangioma located internally, like in the brain or liver or gastrointestinal tract.

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