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5.23 Mongolian Blue Spots

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter was added to the manual in July 2013.


Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Origin
  3. Prevalence
  4. Common Concerns
  5. Pathway for Suspected Mongolian Blue Spot


1. Introduction

Mongolian blue spots (also known as “congenital dermal melanocytosis”), are flat, bluish to bluish grey, blue black or even deep brown skin markings that commonly appear at birth (or shortly thereafter). They appear commonly at the base of the spine, on the buttocks and back and can also appear on the shoulders and elsewhere. Mongolian blue spots normally disappear 3 to 5 years after birth and almost always have disappeared by puberty. 

Mongolian blue spots are benign markings and are not associated with any conditions or illnesses.


2. Origin

The Mongolian spot is a congenital developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. The blue colour is caused by melanocytes, melanin-containing cells, which are deep under the skin. Usually, as multiple spots or one large patch, it covers one or more of the lower back, the buttocks, flanks and shoulders. The condition is unrelated to gender; male and female infants are equally predisposed to Mongolian blue spots.


3. Prevalence

Mongolian spots are most prevalent among infants of East Asian groups. Infants may be born with one or more Mongolian spots.

They also occur in:

  • 90-95% of East African infants;
  • 85-90% of Native American infants;
  • 90% of Polynesian and Micronesian infants;
  • 46% of Hispanic infants;
  • 1-10% of Caucasian European infants.


4. Common Concerns

Among those who are not aware of the background of the Mongolian blue spots, it may sometimes be mistaken for a bruise, possibly resulting in unfounded concerns about abuse. For this reason it is important to have a diagnosis confirmed by a doctor and the diagnosis documented.


5. Pathway for Suspected Mongolian Blue Spot

Click here to view the Pathway for Suspected Mongolian Blue Spot.

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