There’s an entity that we call a Becker nevus — essentially, it presents as a dark patch with can be hairy and tends to be on the upper chest or trunk but often extends to the neck, shoulders and arms. It usually happens in boys/men and crops up before puberty. So what to do with a Becker nevus? Well, one could leave it alone. However, some individuals are concerned about either the hair growth, the coloration, or both of these aspects. In this case, laser therapy can be pursued to remove the hair and/or lighten the area.
And so the story goes that a stork carried the baby by the nape of its neck and left him/her on the doorstep.
Well, there’s a medical explanation for the “stork bite.” Many babies are born with a reddish, pinkish, or bluish red patch at the nape of the neck — because of the location and the story going along with it, this patch is often called a “stork bite” in lay terms. The fancy medical term is nevus flammeus nuchae, which is a type of port wine stain or capillary malformation. Essentially, small vessels called capillaries are in a disorganized collection. Because these vessels have red blood cells, these areas appear reddish. Already, enough of the fancy language now. Similar patches might be found by the eyelids or between the eyelids and this is commonly referred to as a “salmon patch” or “angel’s kiss.”
The “stork bite” is quite normal and has been noted in about a quarter (25%) of newborns! In many individuals, this stork bite fades with time but in others it may persist and the color may change (often to a more purplish or bluish color).
So now you know all about the medical reason for the stork bite!