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Baby girl 'too young' for birthmarks treatment

By WANG HONGYI in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-17 01:45

A 6-month-old girl will not receive treatment soon to remove large black birthmarks that cover much of her face and body because of her age.

The girl, Wang Xinyan, returned to Fujian province with her parents on Monday after they took her to see doctors in Shanghai late last week.

Baby girl 'too young' for birthmarks treatment

A girl from Fujian province has a congenital disease that causes black birthmarks that will continue to grow over her body and could become cancerous, doctors said. [Zhu Xingxin / China Daily]

"The doctors said my daughter is too young to undergo the procedures. They said we should wait until she is older," said Wang Libin, the father.

The large, black, hairy moles that cover about 50 percent of the girl's skin have been diagnosed as congenital giant black nevi, a rare genetic disorder. Doctors in the family's hometown of Sanming, Fujian province, suggested her parents take her to big cities for treatment.

The family is being helped by volunteer netizens after the mother, Zheng Xuexue, asked for assistance online, and attracted much public attention.

"We have contacted a dozen doctors from Shanghai's top hospitals, and they have given their opinions and treatment plans regarding the little girl's condition," said Wu Jun, a netizen in Shanghai who helped the family contact doctors during their five-day stay in the city.

Doctors from several of Shanghai's hospitals carried out a group consultation on Sunday, suggesting the large nevi could be removed through a combination of skin grafts and laser surgery, according to Wu, who collected the information provided by doctors and shared it with media.

"The whole procedure will be phased over several years, but the baby is still too young. Doctors suggested beginning the treatment when she is 2 years old," he said.

The baby's father said that the doctor's information had given him a glimmer of hope, adding that he hoped to find a better-paying job to be able to save more money for the surgery, which will cost 500,000 to 600,000 yuan ($82,000 to $98,000).

Wang has worked doing odd jobs in his hometown and earning 2,000 to 3,000 yuan a month.

"So far, we are helping the family raise funds, because they cannot afford the full procedure," Wu said.

Doctors said such congenital hairy nevi are a type of mole at birth that usually continues to grow with the child. About 50 percent of hairy nevi develop coarse hair and some turn into malignant melanoma.

Last year, a 32-year-old man from Chongqing appealed to doctors for help in getting rid of the large black moles on his body.

He was born with the moles and had not received treatment due to poverty. The birthmarks began growing coarse hair when he was 8 years old. He had been mocked for many years and was even nicknamed "Chimpanzee". A local plastic surgery hospital treated him for free.

Contact the author at wanghongyi@chinadaily.com.cn