‘Mean’ people ask me if I’m responsible for how my son’s face looks

Toddler with dark black mark on side of his face

This toddler has received mean comments for his birth mark (Picture: Media Drum World)

‘Whenever we step out, there are looks… not just at [my son], but at us as well as if this is something we did.’

These are the words of loving mother, 30-year-old Kanika Aneja, whose toddler Avyukt, is living with a large birth mark covering half his face.

Strangers ask her if she smoked during pregnancy and if that caused the black mark, while others have likened Avyukt’s birthmark to ‘dog skin’.

But, despite such a noticeable mark, former consultant Kanika and her husband Deepanshu Kalra, 31, didn’t realise at first.

Their son’s birth had been their main concern because he was born motionless, so they only saw the mark after Avyukt became conscious and was placed in Kanika’s arms.

Once the Californian couple realised their son had a large facial birthmark, they researched their newborn’s condition, to discover that he had Giant Hairy Congenital Melanocytic Nevus (CMN).

CMN are visible pigmented (melanocytic) proliferations in the skin that are present at birth. Small to medium CMN typically occur in more than one in a hundred births.

But for larger marks of more than 20cm on adults affect around one in 50,000 births.

Baby Avyukt and his mum Kanika (Picture: mediadrumimages/@avyukt_kalra)

CMN are benign, tumour-like malformations resulting from faulty development of pigment cell precursors in the embryo, and composed of an abnormal mixture of skin elements.

But what has left Kanika and Deepanshu so shocked, now their son is 16 months old, is the looks from people the shocking ignorance from strangers who try to pin the blame for his mark on them.

‘I understand that a lot of people are curious to know about his condition but some turn out to be very very mean,’ Kanika said.

‘While some people asked me if it was something I did during a Lunar Eclipse, others asked me if I burnt something when I was pregnant.

‘People have even gotten to the extent of asking us if we smoked during my pregnancy.’

Some questions she receives are even more ‘ridiculous’, with someone asking if she ‘scratched her forehead’ during pregnancy, resulting in her son’s mark.

‘People have gone to the extent of saying nasty things like his skin looks like dog’s skin,’ Kanika added.

What hurts Kanika and her partner even more is when people fail to educate their kids about birthmarks, and their children are rude to their son. Some have even told their parents they’re scared of Avykut.

People have asked if Kanika smoked during pregnancy(Picture: mediadrumimages/@avyukt_kalra)

‘There are other kids also, who come and ask what it is and are completely okay,’ she said.

‘They don’t make Avyukt or us feel awkward or weird and I heartily appreciate the parenting of these kids, who have said that birthmarks are okay.

‘He is like any other baby, laughs, smiles, cries and plays.’

Kanika and Deepanshu have found respite on Facebook groups and other parenting groups for people with similar experiences, as well as parents who want to educate their children on birthmarks.

‘I am hopeful that …read more

Source:: Metro


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