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Hey, you! With the face!

I used to have a strawberry mark (hemangioma) above the bridge of my nose, next to my right eyebrow. It never got larger than the size of a nickel, but was noticeable enough to cause questions. It also highlighted my cross-eyed appearance. Hemangiomas will affect development of organs that they appear near, and had somewhat to do with my eye troubles.

(It was only one of many interesting parts of this body when I was born.)

My parents' solution was to have me grow bangs as soon as I could. I was a bald, bald baby ;) The bangs, worn low to my brow, did help! I had birthmark placement privilege. No joke.


Many hemangiomas disappear as children age, and mine was no exception. By the time I was 10, it was fading, and by 12-13, it was barely noticeable. Now, it's only a patch of skin with a different (waxy) texture, a challenge when plucking, and a little additional character on my face ;)

When I was teaching, I met 2 girls with strawberry marks. They occur more frequently with females. One child had it on her shoulder, and it rarely affected her. She didn't love the questions she got while wearing sun dresses, but she developed a pat answer. The other was a baby, a sibling of a child I taught. Her hemangioma was large, and growing larger, on the side of her head. She had it surgically removed the year I was teaching.


Maybe because my mark had all but disappeared, I never spoke to either of these children's parents about it. I felt shy. I have other, lasting disabilities. Ones that are strongly apparent and inapparent to the casual observer. I'll talk about them all day long (only when asked, irl). But, somehow, I felt shy about offering my strawberry mark experience.

I've also noticed that I'm fascinated with other people's birthmarks and facial scars. I look longer than polite. I fixate on famous people's scars when I'm watching films. Every face tells a story, though, and I can't help but be fascinated. People, man! They're interesting. I'm sorry for staring, I do feel bad. I've been on both sides.

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