Nevus Simplex vs Nevus Flammeus: Do You Know Which is Which?

Nevus Simplex

A nevus simplex is also known as a macular stain, salmon patch, angel’s kiss, or stork bite. 

  • Very common: 40-60% of newborns!
  • Present at birth, most commonly at the forehead, glabella, upper eyelids, and nape
    • Less common sites: the back, nose, upper/lower lip, and occipital/parietal scalp
  • Lesions vary in color from pink to red, often with indistinct borders
    • Partially/completely blanchable
    • More prominent with crying, vigorous activity, or changes in ambient temp
  • Most lesions fade spontaneously with 1-2 years

Nevus Flammeus 

A nevus flammeus is also known as a port wine stain. 

  • Uncommon: 0.1-0.3% of newborns
  • Vascular malformation that is present at birth, typically unilateral or segmental distribution that often respects the midline and most often on the head/neck but may be located at any part of the body
  • Lesions do not regress; they grow in proportion to the child’s growth, becoming thicker and darker during adulthood
  • Associated with multiple syndromes: Sturge-Weber, Klippel-Trenaunay, Parkes-Weber, Proteus, etc.

Which is Which?

Sources: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z, AA, BB, CC, DD

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