What are the myths, superstitions, beliefs or folklore that surround birthmarks? How are birthmarks associated with luck and religion? Mythology aside, what are the interesting facts about birthmarks? Continue to find out…
Birthmark Myths, Beliefs, Superstition & Social Stigma
What is a myth? It is a widely held but mistaken belief. It is a concept or belief that is not backed up by science. So, what are the most common birthmark myths, beliefs or superstitions? There are plenty of ancient beliefs and stories about birthmarks that originate from all around the planet. Below are some.
Birthmarks & Religion- Religious Birthmarks
- Is there a link between birthmarks between birthmarks and religion?
Some birthmarks are thought to have religious implications. For example cross-shaped birthmarks are said to be divine and religious.
- On the other hand, some marks are said to be gifts from heavenly powers for example angle kisses kind of birthmarks.
- However, there are mentions of the term birthmark in some books of the Bible but the birthmark in this case does not directly imply the mark you see on your skin. Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D. has identified these religious birthmarks on Logos Resource Pages
Birthmarks Shape & Luck
- Birthmarks are too said to determine if you will be lucky or not. For instance a birthmark on your right arm means that you will be wealthy while if the mark appears on your left arm, it implies that you will be poor.
- Star and heart shaped birthmarks are believed to be accompanied with luck.
- In some countries, eastern European in particular, it is believed good luck to touch someone with a birthmark.
- Birthmarks located in the middle of the chest show that a person will be lucky and prosperous
More Beliefs, Mythology, Social Stigma and Superstition revolving around birthmarks
- Italians, individuals from Spain and people from some parts of the Arab world consider birthmarks as unfulfilled wishes that a mother experienced while she was expectant.
- Some interpretations of birthmarks are more insidious. These marks were believed to be the devil’s signature and thus bad omen. As a result some cultures have cast out of normal society
- In Iranian lore, it is thought that if a woman touches her belly as watches a solar eclipse, her baby will come with a birthmark.
- Another lore has it that if an expecting mother touches her body in the same spot regularly while walking, the baby will be born with a birthmark in the exact same spot.
- Some birthmark lores revolve around food colors. For instance, if the baby is born with a red birthmark, it is allegedly because the mother wanted to eat strawberries while she was expectant. However, if she desired to eat beets or jelly her baby will come with a port-wine stain. Light brown café au lait spots was as result of chocolate cravings.
- According to the Chinese culture, where a birthmark is located is also said to have a meaning. For instance if the mark is on your right foot, it means you are adventurous and on the left foot it implies that you are extremely intelligent, while if it’s on the right, they’ll love exploration, adventure and travel. If you have a birthmark on your abdomen or stomach it means you are greedy and self-centered.
- In cultures wherereincarnation is widespread, some birthmarks are also said to have a link with the way you died in a preceding life. For these cultures birthmarks show some trauma they may have encountered while or before their death in the other life.
- Another birthmark mythology is that if a mother stares at a mouse while pregnant, her baby will have a hairy birthmark.
- In Japan, several expectant women were warned against staring at fire, lest their baby be delivered with a “burn” on her/his skin.
Well, above are some of the popular beliefs or superstitions that surround birthmarks. For your information, they are just myths. The truth in these beliefs is yet to be proven…
Facts about Birthmarks
Birthmark Facts -Severe Cases
Birthmarks are known to be harmless but in extreme cases they are dangerous and expensive to treat. Why? Birthmarks such as port-wine stains and some other types of hemangiomas can be mutilating and uncomfortable for young children. This can lead to bullying, feelings of loneliness and hatred. You may want to learn more about abnormal birthmarks
Certain birthmarks can be cancerous. According tocancerresearch.org, a congenital giant melanocytic naevus, a unique type of birthmark, can grow into melanoma which is the most serious form of skin cancer that is known.
Despite the fact that some ideas and stories around birthmarks don’t hold any truth or are mere myths, some cultures still take them as true. For example, in rural India, where illiteracy and poverty is endemic, there are cases where men and women are cast off because of these marks.
Individuals with birthmarks on their bodies are cast out of normal society as they are considered demonized. Did you know that Anne Boleyn, the second spouse of Henry VIII’s was thought to be a witch due to strawberry birthmark that was on her neck? Here is a list of other famous people and celebrities with birthmarks
More Fun & Interesting Facts about Birthmarks
- Knowledgeable individuals agree that the exact cause of birthmarks is unknown. Vascular birthmarks are believed to form when blood vessels under or in the skin don’t develop in a normal way. Pigmented birthmarks are believed to form when the cells that produce pigment in your skin overgrow. In the first case, why vessels would develop poorly or cells would overgrow is not known.
- A mole can be a birthmark. Moles are small colored spots on the skin made up of skin producing cell (melanocytes). They are brownish in color, darker or skin-colored may be present at birth but most of them develop afterwards.
- Contrary to their name, “birth mark” they are not always present when a child is born. Certain types for example hemangiomas, develop weeks later. Many birthmarks fade or disappear altogether during the kindergarten years, but some are permanent: they never disappear completely.
- Vascular (blood vessel) Birthmarks are the most popular. It is estimated that 10 in every 100 babies have these type of birthmarks [encyclopedia.com]
- In approximation, one in every three infants has a birthmark and they are more popular in girls than boys.
- Even after death birthmarks can still be noticeable-they’ve been used as a means to identify bodies especially when there is no other form of identification available.
- Birthmarks can be safely removed by use of effective methods which entirely relies on the type of the mark.
- According to MNT (Medical News Today), birthmarks are less common in Asian people, compared to persons from other regions of the world.
- In some countries the name birthmark means craving, wish or desire. In French, the word birthmark is called envie which means desire. The Italians call a birthmark voglia which means craving or wish. On the other hand, the Spanish, call it antojo which also means wish or whim. How did the naming come about? This thought to be as a result of a common anecdote linking birthmarks occurrence to the mother’s desires, wishes or cravings that were never met while she was pregnant. This theory of craving was called “maternal impressions.” Interesting enough, some distinguished physicians supported the theory but late in the 19th century the medical community refused to consider it as true.
- There is a book called “The Birth-Mark”. According to Wikipedia, it is a romantic short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne that examines obsession with human perfection. It was first published in the March 1843. There are reports/rumors that much birthmark mythology or lore root from this book. Nathaniel’s book is said to have created plenty of the birthmark tales that are believed today. If you like to learn more about birthmark myths, this book is said to be a great read.
- While birthmarks are not seen as attractive by many, elsewhere they are regarded as stunning. In Kazakhstan, they are considered as beauty. In fact the natives have a name for beautiful birthmark: mensly
- There is an association that provides support as well as improving awareness for individuals who have been affected by birthmarks. It also helps in finding cure or treatment for large nevi. The name of the association is Nevus Outreach. If you thought you are the only one with a birthmark, it time to know that you are not alone. Never should you feel alone anymore! Visit their website and have fun..
- Birthmarks not only occur in human beings but also animals especially pets.
Interesting related information about birthmarks
- What is a Birthmark? Does everyone have Birthmarks? How they form , Drew Brees, Bill Corgan, Celebrities & Babies+Pictures
- Types of Birthmarks: Vascular Red/Pink Birthmark- Salmon Patch & Pigmented Brown Birthmark- Café-au-Lait, Causes & Removal
- Mongolian Birthmark/Spot on Babies, Meaning, Pictures, Myths, Removal & Treatment
- Strawberry Hemangioma Birthmark Pictures, Meaning, Causes, Removal + Treatment
- Port Wine Stain Birthmark Removal/Treatment, Cost, Causes +Pictures