Infant Hairy Patch on the Back

In many instances, infants are born with fine hairs on their bodies shortly after birth, which eventually fall off as they grow. A hairy patch on an infant’s back may be normal, yet it also may indicate a medical issue.

Spina Bifida

Spina Bifida is a medical condition marked by unusual development in the spine, back bones, the nerves surrounding the back area, and the fluid surrounding the spine.

A hairy patch on the back is one of the many symptoms of Spina bifida, along with abnormal birthmarks and dimples on the back. Spina bifida generally occurs when the vertebrae along the spinal column doesn’t completely encircle the spinal column. The remaining gap exposes nerves to the outside which is not only dangerous to your child’s spinal health (and therefore presents a risk of paralysis) but it also presents some problems to your child as a symptom of that existing problem.

Oftentimes parents or doctors aren’t aware know that an infant has spina bifida as the aforementioned symptoms are so seemingly unrecognizable, but children with extreme cases have other characteristics such as paralysis, weakness, or numbness in the affected limbs.

Rare, extreme cases of spina bifida feature children with nerves that actually come out of the spinal column and the back in a small bulge or sack of skin. If your baby has this symptom, however, it’s unlikely that spina bifida has gone on undiagnosed. While the nerves coming out of the back are frightening and severe, it’s also the easiest way to diagnose spina bifida and ensure that your child gets the best care as quickly as possible.

Watch Out

Until your infant’s spinal cord is treated and closed off from external threats, blunt force trauma causing paralysis isn’t the only thing you have to worry about. If the child gets a form of the group B strep infection (either maternally or, later, externally), the strep infection could be exposed to the layer of the membrane around the spinal column thus unprotected by the vertebrae and the baby may catch meningitis.