What Is Stork Bite?


Newborn Care
Baby Birthmarks—What You Need to Know

Stork bites are some of the more common birthmarks found on newborn babies. The scientific term for stork bites is nevus simplex, and they are also known as angel kisses or salmon patches. Find out more about this type of birthmark, including how to identify it and how long it lasts.

What Is a Stork Bite on Babies?

A stork bite, also called a salmon patch or angel kiss, appears as a flat, pale pink to dark pink or red patch on your baby's skin. It's a common type of birthmark known scientifically as nevus simplex. Stork bites are present at birth but usually disappear with the first year or two. A stork bite can be located on the bridge of your baby’s nose, her lower forehead, upper eyelids, upper lip, the back of her head or neck, or even her lower back. A stork bite is not contagious or dangerous for your little one. The birthmark is sometimes called an angel kiss if it’s located between your baby’s eyes.

How Common Are Stork Bites?

Stork bites are the most common birthmark among light-skinned babies, occurring in more than 80 percent of newborns.

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Why Is It Called a Stork Bite?

It’s called a stork bite because it’s often located on the back of the head or neck, an area where, according to folklore, a stork might carry a baby in its beak when delivering the baby to the parents. Of course, storks don’t actually deliver babies—mothers do all the hard work!

What Causes Stork Bites and Angel Kisses in Babies?

Stork bites are caused by capillary (blood vessel) malformations, which create flat, reddish patches of skin that may fade over time.

Do Stork Bites Go Away?

Stork bites tend to fade during your baby’s first year; however, they may still be noticeable later on if your child gets overheated or has a temper tantrum. In some cases, a stork bite located at the nape of your baby’s neck just below the hairline may become a permanent birthmark. You may have seen this birthmark in adults. Speak to your child’s healthcare provider if the stork bite is located in an atypical area and/or if it doesn’t fade within the first year. It may not actually be a stork bite, but another type of birthmark.

Are Stork Bites Dangerous?

No, stork bites are not associated with a serious medical condition and they don’t require treatment.

How Do You Know If Your Baby Has a Stork Bite?

If your baby has a pinkish patch on his eyelid, forehead, nose, upper lip, lower back, or back of the head or neck, it may be a stork bite or angel kiss. Your baby’s healthcare provider will be able to tell you for sure if the pinkish patch is a stork bite, or possibly another type of baby rash.

How Do You Treat a Stork Bite?

Stork bites don’t require treatment, and most fade in your baby’s first year.

The Bottom Line

Stork bites are nothing to be concerned about. Though these salmon-colored patches may look prominent at first, they most often fade in time. This is just one more way your child will develop and change over the course of the first few years, and beyond.

How we wrote this article
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.