People can be identified by many things. You may know someone based on their name, their hair color or even the way they dress. But there is another way to identify individuals that you probably never thought of.
That other way to identify someone is by an interesting feature found on their face or body called a birthmark. Some people say that 1 in 10 babies are born with birthmarks. Some people’s birthmarks fade as the person gets older. This article gives the history of birthmarks and the methods that were used to treat them.
The History Of Birthmarks
In the 16th through 18th centuries there was a wide belief that if a pregnant woman was emotional or not mentally well, she would cause her child to be born with a birthmark. The people of this time thought that a mother’s cravings during pregnancy could translate into a birthmark that resembled the food that they were craving.
For instance, if a pregnant woman ate raspberries during her pregnancy and her child was born with a red colored mark on the body it was thought that this birthmark came from the raspberries consumed during pregnancy. Italian history on birthmarks says that they are found on newborns as a result of the pregnant woman’s unfulfilled dreams.
Throughout history, heretics that had birthmarks on their body were captured and burned. Unknowing members of the community were convinced that a person with a birthmark was considered to be possessed by the devil. Women with birthmarks were convicted as witches. Historic writer, Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote a story entitled “The Birth-Mark” that tells the story of a man that detests his wife’s birthmark so bad that he causes her death.
But not all birthmarks are bad, so to speak. Some birthmarks have wonderful connotations such as the Angel’s kiss. These birthmarks are red in color. Inuit and American Indians say that a person gets an Angel’s kiss on their skin when they have been injured in their past life. These birthmarks prove that it is important that people are reincarnated.
The Science Of Birthmarks
Birthmarks are either dark or red in color. Dark birthmarks are the result of hyperpigmentation. Reddish birthmarks are the result of an abnormal formation of blood vessels. Hyper pigmentation birthmarks have been coined café-au-lait marks, moles or Mongolian spots. The reddish marks caused by blood vessel malformations are named port-wine stains or hemangiomas.
Some types of birthmarks fade on their own. Others can be surgically removed. And then there are those that cannot be treated permanently. Angel’s kisses tend to fade away over the years. Other birthmarks such as hemangiomas can be removed through laser surgery under a doctor’s care. Some birthmarks such as moles are surgically removed because they may be linked to cancer.