Mongolian Spot

What is a Mongolian spot (congenital dermal melanocytosis)?

A Mongolian spot is a flat bruise-like blue-gray patch or patches over the buttocks and lower back (but it can be present on shoulders, sides and legs) that frequently gets confused with bruise. It is present at birth or show up shortly after the birth. Mongolian spot is present in the vast majority of darker-skinned babies, but only in 1 out of 10 fair-skinned babies. It usually disappears within 5 years, but it my take until early adulthood for some cases to become invisible. In rare cases they never completely disappear.

What is the cause of my baby’s Mongolian spot?

The cause of Mongolian spot(s) is unknown, but it is a harmless collection of cells that produce skin color (melanocytes) deeper in the skin.  

Should I take my baby to a health care provider?

It is always wise to see your baby’s health care provider for an initial exam and for a correct diagnosis. Since this birthmark may be confused for a bruise, in some cases it has been the cause of child abuse allegations.

Is Mongolian spot painful to my baby?

 Mongolian spot is not painful.

My baby has Mongolian spot, so what is the treatment?

No treatment is needed, since it usually disappears within 5 years. If it is cosmetically bothersome, then Q-switched alexandrite laser, or Q-switched ruby laser are options (until better options become available in the future).


For more specific questions on Mongolian spot (or other birthmarks) please send us your question using our blog below.

Please post your question or comment.