Daily Smart Fact

Your daily dose of smart. So you don't feel so dumb.

Daily Smart Fact #23: The Mongolian Spot is Most Prevalent in Native American Babies

with 4 comments

Key Takeaway: If you have never heard of or seen a “Mongolian spot” you are probably not Asian, Native American, or Latino.  The Mongolian spot is a dark bruise-like pigmentation that occurs usually above the buttocks of babies with darker pigment.  Sometimes these spots are mistaken for bruises.

My 3 year old nephew who is 3/4 Korean and 1/4 Japanese has the cutest little butt with a perfectly blue dot right above his crack.  I know, lovely picture, but as a biased Auntie I find it absolutely adorable.  Anywho, as  Korean, I figured the Mongolian spot was common knowledge for people; Asian babies have a blue dot above their butt.

What I didn’t realize was that the Mongolian spot, also known as the “blue spot”, isn’t prevalent only in East Asian babies.  In fact, over 90% of Native American babies have the spot, followed by East Asian babies (80%) and Latino babies (70%). [Source: Dr. Greene]

“The Mongolian spot is a congenital developmental condition exclusively involving the skin. The blue colour is caused by melanocytes,melanin-containing cells, that are deep under the skin. The spots are completely harmless.”

These spots usually go away by the age of 2 years old and completely go away by the age of 5 years old.  Because the spot can sometimes look like bruises, there have been stories where babies have actually been removed from their homes because of mistaken child abuse.

The interesting thing is that my other nephew and niece, who’s 1/2 Korean and 1/2 White, DON’T have the Mongolian spot.  We joke that they truly aren’t Korean but perhaps their skin is too fair for the Mongolian spot.   Although the irony is that they speak more Korean than the rest of our family!

Anyway, for those of you who had never heard of the Mongolian spot, I hope this post was enlightening.  For those of you who thought Mongolian spots were only for East Asian babies, I hope you learned something new.

Written by Bea

June 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Biology

Tagged with ,

4 Responses

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  1. Excuse me, but people involved in this publication have little idea of what ethnicity is. First of all latino is not an ethnicity, but a derived language from ancient Latin, spoken by certain countries in the continent of America. In fact, some people of this cultural group are Native Americans, who actually are related in a very ancient past with current Asians. Not all latino people is Native American. There are white caucasians and black people too who is latino, by just speaking Spanish and Portuguese as their mother language. If latinos are showing this spot, is because this specific part of that population has Native American heritage. We are speaking of 2 ethnic groups then, not 3.


    November 26, 2011 at 2:23 am

    • Hi Aeore,

      Thanks so much for your comment. The people involved is just me, a blogger who writes in her spare time and enjoys reading about new stuff. I appreciate your comment and teaching me something new. I do know that people use the term “latino” to refer to groups of people from spanish-speaking countries – I’m sure the publications I refer to for the above post is referring to “latino” in that manner.

      All the Best,


      February 15, 2012 at 5:30 pm

  2. sachin is lucky

    patel sachin

    September 1, 2012 at 6:39 am

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