Mongolian Spots

Mongolian spots are an inborn, developmental, skin- exclusive condition wherein a macular pigmentation is generally noted in the sacral part (lower part of back or buttocks) or rarely on the legs or shoulder region of healthy, just-born infants. This pigmentation appearing as spots in colours ranging from blue-gray to dark brown or even bluish-black is the result of melanocytes (pigment-creating cells) entrapping in the dermis region during their migratory journey from the neural crest into the epidermis.

Often Mongolian spots could surface in the initial weeks subsequent to birth that generally fade away spontaneously in the span of four years; however it could also last for lifetime.

Mongolian spots are commonly observed birthmarks noted in races like Native Americans (90%), Asians (80%), Hispanics (70%) and lesser than ten percent of the times among whites.

Mongolian spotsThe incidence of Mongolian spots differs among different ethnic sets. Asians are commonly noted to have this condition. The percentage frequency among East-African kids is 80%, Hispanics (46%) and whites (1%-9%). Almost ninety percent of Mongoloid race children have been observed with this condition.

There are no related transience or morbidity and is known to occur in both sexes with some studies indicating greater occurrence among males. Also, full-term babies are more prone to having bluish-grey spots as compared to pre-term babies.

Often confused with bruising, these bluish-grey spots could occur as a solitary mark or in clusters, ranging from some millimetres to ten centimetres or more, diameter-wise.

Widespread Mongolian spots that involve outsized regions cover the complete posterior or anterior trunk and the extremities have been cited.

Numerous variations occur, as stated below:

  • Persistent Mongolian spot – They are larger in size with sharper boundaries and last for several years.
  • Aberrant Mongolian spot – They are observed in unusually occurring areas like the extremities or on the face.
  • Persistent Mongolian spot – Also known as macular-type blue nevi.
  • Superimposed Mongolian spot – In this, a darker toned Mongolian spot partly covers a lighter-coloured one.

There is no treatment or any therapy needed on detection of Mongolian spots among kids as it is of no detrimental consequence and would subside by itself. But, large-sized and many spots that are long-standing in nature might be related to atypical genetic disorders in rare and few cases. In case, there is a pre-dominant family history of genetic anomalies alongside this condition, then the child doctor could order for a blood sample to be sent for blood analysis for spotting any particular genetic diseases, each with their own line of treatment.

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