Saturday, May 9, 2015

Mongolian Spots

Mongolian spots are bluish colored birthmarks that are found on 90-95% of Central Asian infants. Jonas has them in all the normal spots (lower back, butt, shoulders). They usually disappear before a child starts school, and they are caused by melatonin-containing cells getting trapped in a lower skin layer during embryonic development. They are flat, painless, and don't cause any problems.

I first noticed the spots when I was visiting Jonas at the orphanage on my second trip. We were playing outside, and when he bent over, I noticed these bluish marks on his lower back. Having no idea about Mongolian spots at all, I kind of freaked out internally, thinking he was bruised! I tried to take a picture for documentation, pressed the area gently to see if it hurt him, and wondered if he had had a bad fall or if I should be worried about abuse. The next day, I showed the translator, and she said something about that being normal for Asian skin. When I got back to the hotel and Googled something like "bruise marks Asian toddler back," I knew right away that he had Mongolian spots and that I could stop worrying.

I wish I had known to expect them, and as recommended, I've told his pediatrician to document them (so we never get accused of abuse), but now that I know what they are and that they will eventually go away, I think they're kind of cool. I thought I'd include this blog post in case someone else has never seen Mongolian spots, especially prospective adoptive parents of Asian children, so they don't have to freak out like I did at first!

1 comment:

  1. Any child of non Caucasian heritage can have Mongolian spots. E has them, but hers have faded considerably over the last couple of months. Should have thought to mention it to you!