Georgia mom's defense of daughter's facial 'birthmark' goes viral

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A blog post by a Georgia mom sharing the origin of the unusual “birthmark” on her infant daughter’s face has gone viral.

Charlie Crenshaw, who is 6 months old, has a large vascular birthmark, under her right eye, covering her cheek. Tired of hearing strangers comment on it, her mom, Katie Crenshaw, took to her blog, Twelve & Six.

“While I don’t mind educating curious minds, I don’t need your opinion on how it its [sic] progress or the affect it may have on her,” Katie, 29, wrote on January 12. “It’s a part of her unique beauty.”

Charlie’s “birthmark,” which is about 5cm x 6cm large, is a capillary hemangioma. The benign tumor is made of an abnormal overgrowth of tiny blood vessels. The majority of capillary hemangiomas do not require treatment and are simply monitored for the development of vision problems, according to the American Association for Pediatric Opthalmology and Strabismus. The tumor is sometimes referred to as a “strawberry.”

The toddler does not have vision problems and sees a pediatric dermatologist who specializes in vascular anomalies and a pediatric ophthalmologist every 1 to 2 months, Katie wrote on March 7, in an updated FAQ in response to the viral media attention.

Since she was six weeks old, Charlie has taken a beta-blocker that’s been approved to treat hemangiomas by suppressing growth and initiating shrinking and fading. According to her mother, she doesn’t have any pain and doesn’t even know the mark is there.

In her original post, Katie, who lives with her family in the metro Atlanta area, asked supporters to, rather than pray the mark will disappear, pray that her daughter “grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like.”

“She doesn’t have a ‘good side’ that we choose for family pictures,” the mother-of-two wrote. “I don’t retouch her hemangioma in photos. Her entire face is my sweet Charlie, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like.”

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