Each year, children are born with skin disorders that are often misdiagnosed. For baby boys, the complication may be attributed to a rare congenital complication that involves the muscle tissue and leads to the development of lesions at birth. If your child was born with skin lesions, it is important to seek the medical attention of a pediatric specialist to ensure the proper diagnosis is obtained.
Skin lesions in young boys can be congenital or acquired. By this we mean, the condition may be one that develops before birth or a condition that is acquired and develops in early childhood. For most children who are born with a congenital complication, the condition may be one that is known as a smooth muscle hamartoma. The lesion on the skin will not appear abnormally discolored but the muscle tissue is usually involved.
Smooth muscle hamartoma usually appear in young boys and are often first seen on the back, buttocks and lower extremities. While the hamartoma can affect the face, arms and neck, these are actually very rare occurrences. While the condition may dissipate with age, and diminish in muscle tissue involvement, this may only be possible by limiting your son’s rubbing or touching of the affected area.
Fetal alcohol syndrome in newborns often creates a very similar lesion appearing complication. Diagnosis by testing may be necessary if you think your child may be victim of FAS. Also, if the condition is not present at birth, and appears on the back, buttocks, and legs later in childhood, the smooth muscle hamartoma may be acquired. One of the main differences between acquired and congenital is within the appearance of the skin lesion. For acquired smooth muscle hamartoma in young boys, the skin lesions will not appear flesh-toned but, instead, will vary in color from brown to a shade of pink.
Treatment for smooth muscle hamartoma is not necessary unless your child’s mobility or physical function is adversely affected. When necessary, surgical excision, on an outpatient basis, can be done but is usually not recommended. Your child, however, will require regular follow-up and maintenance with a healthcare provider to monitor muscle development and growth.
Complications of the skin affect thousands of children each year. For many children, the complication is present at birth. For young boys, smooth muscle may be adversely affected by a condition known as smooth muscle hamartoma which, ultimately, is more of a cosmetic issue and usually does not require long term health treatment.
Sources: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 1993; 28:366-368. American Journal of Dermatopathology 1995; 17: 68-70.