Examination and removal of birthmarks

Birthmarks are skin changes that occur through the entire life. The opinion that birthmarks should not be touched is considered. This is not true. Any healthy birthmark can be removed without any risk to health. It is even advisable to remove the birthmarks if they show any changes – redness, itching, piercing in the area of the birthmark or if they are injured.

Birthmarks have changes on the skin, and in most number of cases they represent pigmented cells. They can appear through the entire life anywhere on the skin – on the face, neck, arms, legs, body and head, and therefore are rare individuals who after 30 years of age have between 10 and 40 birthmarks. Their color changes from light to dark hazel, and birthmarks, as time passes, can change their shape and color, and even size.
The number of birthmarks throughout life depends on the genetic predisposition and on how often the skin is exposed to the sun, or X rays. In a large number of cases, birthmarks are harmless, but malignant alterations of birthmarks may occur.

Surgical removal of birthmarks:
Surgical removal of birthmarks is indicated in the following cases:
If the birthmark is dysplastic – a dermatoscope notices an incorrect structure, but the birthmark is still healthy,
If the birthmark has changed and if there are criteria for melanoma according to the dermatoscopic examination,
If the birthmark is congenital. These birthmarks carry a 15% higher risk of getting into malignancy over their lifetime,
If the birthmark is blue, blue nevus. The bluish gray color of the birthmark points to the pigmented cells in the last, deepest part of the skin. It also has a higher risk of changing over the course of life,
If a birthmark is removed for aesthetic reasons or if it is in a place of frequent irritation and is larger than 7mm.

Birthmarks are being removed today for medical, aesthetic and practical reasons. All three reasons are justified, if the intervention is properly done. Removing the birthmark, especially the ones with changes, is advisable because this prevents the development of malignant melanoma.

Removal of birthmarks is desirable:
If they are set in places where they are exposed to irritation,
If they have changed shape,
If they have changed color,
If they are injured,
If they have an irregular shape – toothed edges and colorful pigmentation (larger than 6 millimeters),
If they are innate and larger than 1.5 centimeters,
If they are bleeding, hurting or itching.

What does the procedure for removing the birthmarks look like?
Removing the birthmarks is performed in local anesthesia, lasts up to 20 minutes and it is accompanied by mild discomfort during the first day of intervention. The stitches are removed after 7 to 14 days depending on the place from which the birthmark was removed.

If the birthmark has changed and became melanoma, the intervention is performed in general anesthesia and the entire skin thickness is removed from the place of the existing change as well as the fat tissue under the skin, until the muscle fascicle. The sample is necessarily sent to the pathohistological analysis.

What is a pathohistological analysis?
The pathohistological analysis of the birthmark is the observation of the removed birthmark under the microscope and the determination if there are malignant cells in the birthmark and if they exist, how deep they expanded.


Darko Jović

Word of doctor

Doc. PhD. Darko Jović

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a special part of the surgery where the emphasis is on correcting or correcting certain inborn deficiencies or defects caused by certain injuries or changes. Restoring as natural as it looks, as well as functionality is our primary goal.

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