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Stork bite

SApr 27 05

Alternative names
Salmon patch; Nevus simplex


Stork bites are common vascular lesions of the newborn consisting of one or more pale red patch(es), most often seen in the midline on the forehead, eyelids, tip of the nose, upper lip, and at the hairline on the back of the neck.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Stork bites (also called salmon patches) occur in about one third of all newborn infants. They are flat, pink lesions with irregular borders, and they may become darker with crying or room temperature changes.

They fade with pressure, but when the pressure is removed, the reddish appearance returns. Stork bites clear spontaneously over a period of months and are universally gone by 18 months - with the exception of those on the back of the neck. These may persist for years, but are generally covered by hair.


  • May be present at birth, or appear in the first months of life  
  • Pale, pink, flat patches with normal skin texture found on the forehead, eyelids, nose, upper lip, or nape of neck (often symmetrical)  
  • Blanches with pressure  
  • May become lighter or darker with changes in room temperature  
  • Fade by 18 months (except those on nape of neck)

Signs and tests

Physical examination is sufficient to diagnose stork bites. No testing is necessary.


There is no treatment necessary. Lesions that persist past three years may be removed with a laser for cosmetic purposes.

Expectations (prognosis)

The lesions normally disappear without treatment by the time the child is 18 months old.


There are usually no complications.

Calling your health care provider

All birthmarks should be examined by the health care provider during a routine well-baby examination.


There is no known prevention.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 5, 2012
by Potos A. Aagen, M.D.

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