Salmon Patch: Everything You Need to Know by Dr. Pedro Vilas Boas

Salmon Patch: Everything You Need to Know by Dr. Pedro Vilas Boas, Dermatologist in Porto



I am Dr. Pedro Vilas Boas, a specialist in dermatology in Porto, and today I want to talk to you about a topic that, although common, often raises many questions among the parents of newborns: the salmon patch. This condition, also known as nevus simplex or "angel's kiss", is a capillary malformation that appears at birth in a large number of babies.


What is a Salmon Patch?


A salmon patch is a malformation of the capillaries that appears as a pink or red mark on the baby's skin. Although it can appear anywhere on the body, it is most commonly found on the nape, the eyelids, and sometimes on the frontal region of the head. It is important to know that these patches are completely benign and generally are not associated with other medical conditions.


Why Do Salmon Patches Appear?


Although science has not yet determined an exact cause for the development of salmon patches, we know that they result from an accumulation of small blood capillaries just beneath the skin. They are not hereditary nor caused by problems during pregnancy. They simply are part of the natural variability in how some babies develop.


Diagnosis of Salmon Patches


In my practice in Porto, diagnosing a salmon patch is generally straightforward. I observe the little one's skin under good light and look for the typical characteristics of these patches: a pink or reddish colouration, clear and without relief. No invasive tests are necessary; the appearance is sufficient for diagnosis.


Treatment of Salmon Patches


As a dermatologist, my usual advice is not to intervene. Most salmon patches disappear or fade significantly during the first few years of the child's life. However, if the patch persists and becomes a cosmetic concern, especially in visible areas like the face, there are treatments such as laser therapy that can help reduce its visibility. These decisions are made based on each individual case and always considering the emotional well-being of the child and their family.


Living with a Salmon Patch


For parents, it is crucial to understand that having a salmon patch is completely normal and common. It does not affect your child's health in any way and, in most cases, simply becomes a unique part of their appearance that may disappear over time. My recommendation is to focus on the child's health and happiness, beyond aesthetic concerns.


When to Consult a Dermatologist?


Although salmon patches are harmless, I recommend a visit to the dermatologist if you notice changes in the texture or colouration of the patch, or if new patches appear after the first few months of life. These changes, although rare, can be a reason for a more detailed evaluation.




In summary, salmon patches are benign capillary malformations that generally do not require treatment. As a dermatologist in Porto, my mission is to ensure that parents are informed and reassured about their skin health and that of their children. If you have any concerns about a salmon patch or another dermatological condition, do not hesitate to contact a specialist.


Remember, each mark on our skin makes us unique, and birthmarks like the salmon patch are simply another part of this wonderful human diversity.