September 5th, 2011
10:14 AM ET

What are Mongolian spots?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Mondays, it's pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Shu.

Question asked by C.C. from Atlanta:

My newborn son has blue birthmarks on his back. The doctor called them Mongolian spots (but we are not Asian) and said they are found in darker skinned babies and not to worry. Our other kids didn't have them. What are they? Will they go away?

Expert answer:

Thanks for your question. Mongolian spots (technically named congenital dermal melanocytosis) are flat bluish-green, gray or light brown areas where cells called melanocytes have been trapped in a layer of the skin called the dermis.

These spots are present at birth or within a few weeks after and are usually on the buttocks and back although they can show up anywhere on the body.

Although named after a country in Asia, Mongolian spots can be found in any baby with relatively dark skin, including the majority of babies of Native American, Asian, Hispanic or African-American descent. In contrast, fewer than 10% of Caucasian infants have Mongolian spots.

Ask our doctors a question

For families looking for a nongeographic name for these birthmarks, I have suggested using the term "ink blots," but Mongolian spots are a commonly used term in the health care field.

Mongolian spots usually fade to a large extent, if not completely, within the first decade of life (often within the first few years). They may sometimes be associated with extremely rare - seen in fewer than one in every 100,000 newborns - metabolic problems such as mucopolysaccharidosis or gangliosidosis. If in doubt about the blue marks, be sure to double-check with your pediatrician as your son gets older or consider a visit to a dermatologist.

Since these birthmarks may sometimes be mistaken for bruises, it may be a good idea for your pediatrician to document their location in your son's medical record.

Follow @CNNHealth and @LivingWellDoc on Twitter.

soundoff (547 Responses)
  1. Social Media Marketing Consultant Irvine


    May 11, 2021 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Internet Marketing Consultants Near Me


    May 11, 2021 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Video Marketing Programs


    May 11, 2021 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Frame Near Me


    May 11, 2021 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Sprinter Van Conversion Computer Repair


    May 11, 2021 at 20:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. rv parks orange county

    It’s difficult to find experienced people about this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 11, 2021 at 22:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Mercedes Sprinter Diesel Service Near Me

    Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written much better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this article to him. Fairly certain he'll have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 12, 2021 at 00:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. 2800 Suspension Repair Sprinter Van

    Very good post. I certainly love this website. Keep writing!


    May 12, 2021 at 00:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fiberglass dent repair


    May 12, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Renovation Los Angeles


    May 12, 2021 at 02:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rv body repair


    May 12, 2021 at 04:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. bus repair shop

    Good info. Lucky me I came across your site by chance (stumbleupon). I've saved as a favorite for later!


    May 12, 2021 at 04:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me W Ratings


    May 12, 2021 at 05:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. rv floor repair cost


    May 12, 2021 at 06:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. the truck shop orange


    May 12, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. RV Driver Seats Orange County


    May 12, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. rv repair videos


    May 12, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Inspection Los Angeles


    May 12, 2021 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Chevy G20 Van Repair

    This is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Brief but very precise info… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!


    May 12, 2021 at 10:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. camper repairs near me


    May 12, 2021 at 12:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Upgrades Orange County


    May 12, 2021 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. RV Awning Riverside

    Saved as a favorite, I really like your blog!


    May 12, 2021 at 15:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Repair

    This website certainly has all the info I needed about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.


    May 12, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. stake center near me

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you should publish more about this topic, it might not be a taboo subject but usually people don't speak about such issues. To the next! Best wishes!!


    May 12, 2021 at 21:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me W Ratings


    May 12, 2021 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. furniture repair in orange county ca

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 12, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. motorhome refurbishment


    May 12, 2021 at 23:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. socal upholstery


    May 13, 2021 at 00:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Headlights Near Me

    You are so interesting! I do not believe I've truly read through something like this before. So good to find somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a little originality!


    May 13, 2021 at 04:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Gmc Safari Van Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 06:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Mercedes Sprinter Cowl Panel Rust Repair


    May 13, 2021 at 06:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Sprinter Blower Fan Repair Near Me

    Right here is the right blog for anyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I personally will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!


    May 13, 2021 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. temecula tv repair


    May 13, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Authorized Mercedes Benz Service Centers Near Me


    May 13, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. roof repairs orange county ca

    Excellent site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 13, 2021 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. stornobrzinol

    Thanks , I've just been looking for info about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?


    May 13, 2021 at 16:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. RV Bay Doors California

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing this write-up plus the rest of the site is extremely good.


    May 13, 2021 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv dashboard replacement


    May 13, 2021 at 22:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. motorhome repair

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the largest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!


    May 13, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. RV Windshield Near Me

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject, however, you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 14, 2021 at 01:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. progressive body shop near me


    May 14, 2021 at 03:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. geico near me


    May 14, 2021 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv interior furniture


    May 14, 2021 at 05:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. american leak detection orange county

    Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this website needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the info!


    May 14, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv rentals orange county ca

    I really like reading through an article that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    May 14, 2021 at 05:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. rv collision repair near me

    I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Very well written!


    May 14, 2021 at 06:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. box truck repair shop

    Hi there! This post couldn’t be written any better! Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept preaching about this. I'll send this post to him. Pretty sure he will have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 14, 2021 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. horse trailer service

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this website. I really hope to check out the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now 😉


    May 14, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Body Shop Orange County


    May 14, 2021 at 09:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. furniture repair orange county


    May 14, 2021 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.