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Nevus simplex

Nevus simplex (a.k.a. salmon patches, erythema nuchae, angel’s kiss, stork bite) is the most common vascular anomaly of infancy, present in approximately 40% of newborns. This birthmark is formed by dilated (ectatic) capillaries which are remnants of fetal blood circulation in the skin. Eighty-one percent occur on the nape of the neck, 45% on the eyelids and 33% between the eyebrows. They are seen less commonly on the posterior scalp and lower back.


Salmon patches/nevus simplex are pink to red marks on the skin. They may darken when a child cries or is more active. They typically go away by 1 or 2 years old. Salmon patches on the back of the neck may be more persistent but, generally, are not of significant concern because they are covered by hair. 


The diagnosis of nevus simplex is made clinically; no supporting studies are required.


Persistent salmon patches can be treated with laser to help lighten or possibly eliminate the birthmark.