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Thread: The Mongolian Blue Spot

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    The Mongolian Blue Spot

    The term Mongolian Spot(s) or Mongolian Blue Spot refers to the smooth blue-gray or slighty brown patches which can be found on the lower back and buttocks area of some East Asian and Native American Infants and babies. It may look somewhat like a bruise or rash. It normally vanishes three to five years after birth and almost always by puberty.

    Mongolian spot(s) is a congenital developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. The blue colour is caused by melanin-containing cells—melanocytes—that are deep under the skin. Usually, it covers in spots or in one large patch one or all of the following: the lumbosacral area, the buttocks, flanks, and shoulders. It results from the entrapment of melanocytes in the dermis during the course of their migration from the neural crest to the epidermis during embryonic development.

    The condition is not linked to sex, and both male and female infants are equally predisposed to Mongolian Spot(s). The spots are generally harmless and very common among some races. (It has been stated that the spots may be associated with cleft lip, spinal meningeal tumor, melanoma, and phakomatosis pigmentovascularis.)

    Mongolian Spot(s) is most common among Mongols, other East Asian ethnic groups (Japanese, Indonesians, Koreans, Uzbeks, Turkmens, etc.) and some Africans. Nearly all Mongolian infants are born with one or more Mongolian Spot. 95-100% of East Asian and Native American infants, 40-50% of Hispanic infants, and very few Caucasian and other infants have it. It is also common if only one of the parents is East Asian.

    Among those who are not aware of the background of the Mongolian Spots, it may sometimes be mistaken for abuse bruises.

    In Japan, these spots led to an idiom "his butt is still blue" ("shiri ga aoi"), which is an expression similar to "still wet behind the ears" or "still green".

    Source: Wikipedia

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    Someone said once that even Swiss infants sometimes get this and blame it on the retreating Huns.

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