Our 8-month old son is doing very well so far, developing physically and mentally right in lock step with where the "developmental miletstones" say he should be.

At around 4 months of age we noticed he started developing a small red mark on his arm that kept getting a little bit bigger every few weeks. At his 6-month well visit the pediatrician said it was a mastocytoma, and that it was nothing to worry about. Furthermore, she said:

  • It might get bigger
  • It might change color
  • He may have it for a long time

I asked if there were any surgeries available to remove it and she stated that surgical removal often exacerbates them and makes them worse and/or more dangerous.

While this was all very reassuring, it has now almost doubled in size since that 6-month well visit, and is now roughly the size of a thumbtack, so it appears to be picking up "momentum".

If you Google mastocytoma, you get back a slurry of articles/blogs/etc. that give mixed information. Some coincide with what the pediatrician said and they state that mastocytoma is nothing to worry about. Others state that while its typically benign, it can become malignant and dangerous under certain conditions.

I guess I'm worried that the pediatrician is simply trying to relieve/placate us by telling us that "it's alright". Meanwhile, it's doubling its size every few months.

So I ask: what presentations in mastocytoma should be worrisome and warrant followup/further investigation? What signs/symptoms/changes take us from the "definitely benign" zone into the murky in-between zone? Would a trip to the dermatologist be a prudent next step?

Essentially, if this is a worrisome case of mastocytoma, I want to address it as aggressively as possible.

  • 1
    I understand your concerns, Manny, but trust me, Internet is definitely the worst place to seek medical advice. Consult a dermatologist or oncologist, as they are the only people capable of giving educated advice. Also, I'm voting to close this question as asking for medical advice is forbidden on this site. Try this question: parenting.stackexchange.com/questions/626/… – Dariusz Dec 7 '15 at 10:06
  • I'll ask Health if they're interested in it, and migrate if so. I'll note, though, that you can always ask a dermatologist or different pediatrician for a second opinion and/or for more detail about "when to be concerned" -- when Dariusz and Rory closed your question, it was not eliminating your ability to get clear, professional answers. – Erica Dec 7 '15 at 13:26
  • 1
    Hi, Manny, and welcome to the site. Answers here typically take a while, but this will be answered! :) – anongoodnurse Dec 7 '15 at 15:49

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