Baby with Red Birthmark Overcomes Hurtful Labels to Grow into Beautiful Individual
Most people have physical features that they feel shame about, especially growing up. Eventually, most find self-confidence and learn to embrace their flaws. Some are even lucky enough to outgrow them altogether.
However, birthmarks are often with us for the long haul. Sadly 2018, a mother faced hurtful responses to photos of her baby girl, born with "Port Wine Stain."
Born With A Notable Birthmark
An Australian mother, Marianna Bowering, welcomed a precious baby girl. However, little Angelica was born with a birthmark called Port Wine Stain and regrettably faced bullying due to it.
Regrettably, Angelica's birthmark attracts significant negative attention, both online and in person.
"In person, I think the most hurtful thing was when someone at a soccer game told me that she was a 'defect,'" Marianna sadly shared.
"He just said that to me and then walked away. I was shocked."
Meanwhile, online people have said she's "hideous" and "will never get a boyfriend later in life."
Marianna also disclosed, "The worst comment online that I've gotten is when someone asked if her face had been pushed onto a skillet. Basically, saying her face looked grilled."
Embracing The Birthmark
On the other hand, Angelica's parents view the birthmark as "a unique addition to her beauty that should be celebrated."
"I would never hide my little girl because of it. I think she is absolutely stunning," Bowering said.
"The thing I hate most is when people tell me she can just cover it with makeup when she's older. Why should she cover it up? If she wants to flaunt it, she can."
Angelica's entire family has consistently supported and encouraged her to embrace herself, including her birthmark. They even go the extra mile by accentuating that feature with body glitter or painting it in a heart.
Interestingly, Angelica's mom, Marianna, is deeply invested in loving and encouraging her daughter that she is an "ambassador for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation."
She explained, "It breaks my heart to think of anyone being mean to her. But I see her now, and she is such a confident little girl, and she isn't afraid of anything."
Concluding, "I am sure she is going to get through anything life throws at her. She is more than her birthmark. She is her own person, and she is not different to anyone else."
Over time, the birthmark may darken, but it is typically not a cause for worry. However, while the birthmark itself is mostly harmless, it can sometimes indicate the presence of other significant physical conditions.
Port Wine Stain birthmarks are commonly associated with syndromes affecting blood vessels or vascular diseases. Examples of such conditions include Carotid Artery Disease, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, and high blood pressure.
It is common for accompanying conditions to be present alongside the birthmark, such as glaucoma and Sturge-Weber syndrome.
"Thankfully, we've done tests, and Angelica is totally healthy," Marianna said regarding Angelica's health. "We just need to have regular check-ups, especially for her eyes, as glaucoma can be a concern."
Interestingly, birthmark is a relatively common condition that affects approximately 3 out of every thousand babies born and can occur across all demographics. There is no known way to prevent it, but with appropriate treatment, the birthmark can fade over time.
However, some individuals may choose not to pursue treatment as they feel it is unnecessary.
Treatment For Port Wine Stain
Port Wine Stain's most frequently utilized treatment choice is a "pulsed-dye laser," also employed in treating Rosacea.
"Gradually, over several treatments, this lightens the skin, and, in some cases, the stain may temporarily go away." explained Dr. Gregory Levitin.
However, they will often return over time. "In about 10 to 15% of cases, the skin not only darkens but thickens and enlarges, causing soft tissue changes," Levitin explained.
He also proposes reconstructive surgery as an option for individuals unable to embrace their birthmarks fully. This surgical procedure aims to restore the skin, improving its contour, evening out the tone, and ultimately returning the skin's appearance to what is considered "normal."
For these patients, he recommends reconstructive surgery to restore the skin to its normal size, contour, and appearance.
However, Angelica's family has consistently encouraged her to prioritize her happiness. We all must strive for self-acceptance and love ourselves despite our physical flaws. Embracing birthmarks, stretch marks, and other scars can alleviate one less source of stress in our lives.