This patient information and photograph on Mongolian Spots is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Mongolian spots are a very common birthmark seen in newborns on the lower
back, buttocks and sometimes the legs. They appear as slate-gray or blue-black patches that almost look bruise like but are unrelated. They can be smaller than a dime to several inches in diameter. These occur in well over 3/4 of Negro, American Indian and Oriental infants, but they can also appear in Caucasians as well.
What causes it? These are due to deposits of pigment cells (melanocytes) deep in the skin. Usually these spots disappear in early childhood, but in some cases they may persist into adulthood.
Is it dangerous? Mongolian spots are a harmless disorder. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs.
Can it be cured? Treatment is not needed as these resolve on their own.
Will it spread? They do not spread but a person can have more than one spot.
Is it contagious? It is not contagious and you can not "catch it" from anyone