Baby born with #12 on forehead

Little Hanru van Niekerk.

When Hanru van Niekerk was born on 11 November, he came with his own numeral surprise.

He was born with a clearly visible number 12 on his forehead. His great-grandmother Catherine Jooste said it was certainly a beautiful surprise but the number did not worry them.

“My youngest daughter was the first one to see it and she said there is a 1 and a 2 on his forehead. We did not worry about it, his doctor said it will fade as he gets older.”

The family has really embraced the unique birthmark and has instead focused their energy on loving their bundle of joy.

Dermatologist Patrice Hyde said babies can develop birthmarks before or shortly after birth.

“Hemangiomas are a bunch of tiny blood vessels that grow in a specific area on the skin — that’s why they usually look red or purple. Blood vessels are tiny tubes that carry blood through the body. No one knows what causes blood vessels to group together, but it’s good to know that most birthmarks aren’t a sign of any kind of illness and usually don’t hurt at all.”

Hyde added that most birthmarks usually fade or disappear completely, but there are a few tricks and remedies to remove them.

  • Medication

Corticosteroids are often used to get rid of a birthmarks. They can be injected directly into the birthmark or taken orally. The medication usually slows down the growth of birthmarks and can make them shrink.

  • Laser therapy

Laser therapy is a popular procedure for the removal of birthmarks. Complete disappearance is rare, most lighten after a few treatments. It is recommended to start laser treatment in infancy for best results because the stain and blood vessels are usually smaller.

  • Surgical removal

Birthmarks can be removed with surgery, especially moles.

Alice Mpholo

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