Doctor,what is that blue mark on my baby’s face?
I hear this question occasionally from mom’s who have already asked this of their regular pediatrician. Usually the pediatrician doesn’t know or gives them an unsatisfactory answer.
This blue mark was not always apparent at the time of birth. It shows up later, dead center between the eyes right on top of the nasal bridge, usually after 4 months. In some babies as they get older, then it becomes thicker and very prominent. In boys you will see this mark in the active rambunctious ones who run, fall, crash and hit their heads often. This mark is a distended vein underneath the delicate tissues around the eyes and nasal bridge. As they age and continue with head trauma, there is back pressure in the venous system, that vein bulges and starts to thin and “carve out” the overlying skin. In some babies, that mark is there from birth.
In infants, the head gets compressed during the birth process. Breast feeding immediately helps decompress and expand the cranium. Those bottle fed or very compressed from a long difficult vaginal birth will be more at risk. How do I know this, when other pediatricians don’t? Very easy. I treat infants for all manner of problems. When I find head compression, I decompress and the vein(s) lighten immediately. In fact, I teach parents to watch it as a sign of increasing back pressure. It will coincide w/a number of issues – the child will start to get fussy, nap poorly, or wake up at night, the soft spot can be tight, hard and small. This tells them when to bring the child back. Check out my website for other photos of severely compressed heads. I have tried to photograph and document the resolution of this vein after treatment but it does not stand up to my amateur camera; believe me, I have certainly tried.
Addendum: October 23, 2010. It seems that since I first wrote this blog, this is the most popular search. This blue vein is very common. Please moms if you want to find an osteopathic physician near you google www.cranialacademy.org although I do have to warn you that I am not a member (secondary to politics plus I am good enough to succeed without need of their directory referral service). I will also say that traditional (old fashioned 10 fingered) osteopathic medicine is very much like martial arts and results and styles of physicians may vary somewhat; one of my patients calls this work our ‘Jedi Arts’. Whatever you do, do not seek nor allow yourself to believe that MDs, chiropractors, physical therapist and especially craniosacral therapists can get you my results. It is too difficult. They do not have enough training. My results come about after training to become a pediatrician (4 yrs college, 4 yrs osteopathic medical school, 3 yrs pediatrics training) and 7 yrs of hands on experience. This proprietary knowledge of the traditional DOs is not shared with any other types of professionals. They are still unformed, their nervous system too new…
Addendum 2: March 16, 2014. There are infants and children who grow up to have a bluish tinge on the inside bridge of the nose near the inside corner of the eye. This is back pressure building up in an area deep inside the brain called the ‘cavernous sinus’ and usually results from…a face plant, in infancy either onto carpet, or worse, onto wood or tile floor. This area and this fall in early infancy is near impossible to cure. My baby fell (or rather i dropped her,face plant) when she was 2 months old trying to calm her excessive fussiness. My 83 year old physician mentor (50 years hands on experience) was able to treat her in 20 minutes (where other doctors failed) and cured her of her fussiness. She is now 4 years old and when she has sinus issues, the deep dark circles come out.