birthmarks

Heads up, national media: this is what courage and bravery looks like -- not a man wearing a dress.

19-year-old Ciera Swaringen was born with moles covering her entire body from head to toe. She is one of less than 1% of newborns who are born with the rare congenital birthmarks called melanocytic nevus.

Ciera has endured teasing since she was a small child. But her strong sense of self and confidence helps her overcome the childish taunting.

"Teenage boys are usually the first to comment when they see me," Ciera said. She added, "Over time I've learnt to brush off negative comments and remember that most people stare and say cruel things because they're not used to seeing someone with my condition."

Ciera said being from a small town in North Carolina helps because most of the people there know about her birthmarks.

"People in my town don't bat an eye when they see me now," she said. "But if I go somewhere new, it's not so easy."

She even uploads 'selfies' of her birthmarks to show her friends on social media page what courage looks like.

The largest mole stretches from her hips to her thighs. The moles are made up of nevomelanocytes that extends from the surface of the skin down into the dermal layer.

While most of the mole lesions are harmless, some may develop into malignancies (cancer) later on.

The lesions are usually found on the face or neck but can be located anywhere on the body.

The typical treatment for congenital melanocytic nevus is hair removal by laser. But most doctors caution against laser removal as it may lead to malignancy (cancer) if the laser goes too far into the dermal layer.

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  • Source: Daily Mail Online

    • kgirl33

      Wow

    • aRoth

      Almighty bless her.
      At first I thought she was covered in bedbugs.

    • DDNY

      well she is very brave. i would probaly stay home all the time, my ego is fragile.

    • Sexy CJ

      ...................

    • L.T.L. Since 2007

      Serious question.... Is this something that can also develop over time? I remember a friend of my grandma's had these little moles all over her face. Like ALL over her face. REALLY, her WHOLE face. And then I saw a pic of when they were younger (mid 20's) and she had no trace of them. My juvenuile ass mind thought that she got them from being an alcoholic. My grandma never told me any different.

    • Supanova777

      She cute tho…

    • MS PEACHES

      Brave girl

    • Meme81

      Serious question...possibly for SR ,can white people get vitiligo-but instead on skin lightening it darkens?

    • http://theempirefiend.tumblr.com/ Bird

      I'm moley, but I draw the line at a point. I have had one removed by the dermatologist and have removed a couple myself. I hope something can at least be done for her face. It can't be easy walking around like that.

    • aRoth

      #askRachael

    • SummerBaby

      It has to be tough going through this. Good luck to her.

    • Lenina Just Lenina

      Awwwww she is very pretty.

    • stav

      Absolutely!

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      Ok so I'm NOT being petty...BUT I saw the picture and I thought my eyes were just blurry. Its like shes is one of those 3D picture...She is a pretty girl; God made she a special angel.

    • TheRealLee

      Poor baby. I wonder with all the new topical skin treatment inventions if she could benefit from one at least to her face to fend off bullies.

    • DDNY

      i would be walkin around fighting.

    • Buttercup

      My paternal grandmother was like this. I think I'm going to be just like her. It seems like at least once a month a have a new mole or beauty mark on my face. This didn't start until I was 25 or so.

    • Buttercup

      I have one on my neck that popped up in the last year. I think I'm going to have to get that one removed. I don't much mind the others though.

    • Arii

      On her twitter page she's talking about killing herself. She doesn't seem too happy.

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      CHyle the women in my family have them everywhere and the older you get the more you have them....Way less then this younger lady...but yes the older you get the more you get.

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      I hope not...

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      Girl....I find a new one every week on my body...Right now they are the cute ones but DAYUM...they just show up...I even have freckles in the whites of my eye...smh

    • SummerBaby

      Is it just my phone or is the pics of her not the best quality?!

    • Petty_boots

      Yes, me too. I have freckles and have been teased when I was a kid. Chit I thought I had it bad, I know people are mean to her. But hey, we all have flaws. I feel bad about the possibility of cancer though. She's cute.

    • Petty_boots

      Lmao. Not on today.

    • Buttercup

      Honey Dip doesn't understand. He can be rubbing me down, and stop completely in the moment trying to pick a speckle of "lint"away. I like mine too. Hopefully they won't get out of control. This one on my neck has to go though.

    • Northside Zeta

      I thought about getting some removed, but then I thought it would change the character of my face. My ex used to play connect the dot with them. Guess I am used to them now.

    • 1/8

      This story made me think of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs:

      I am what I am
      I don't want praise I don't want pity
      I bang my own drum
      Some think it's noise I think it's pretty
      And so what if I love each sparkle and each bangle
      Why not try to see things from a different angle
      Your life is a shame
      'Til you can shout out I am what I am
      'Til you can shout out I am what I am
      I am what I am
      And what I am needs no excuses
      I deal my own deck
      Sometimes the aces sometimes the deuces
      It's one life and there's no return and no deposit
      One life so it's time to open up your closet
      Life's not worth a damn till you can shout out
      I am what I am
      I am what I am

    • MS PEACHES

      I was thinking the same thing.

    • Let Your Soul Glow

      I have skin tags/moles that yes, have increased the older I get. But when I was pregnant my first child, they multiplied like crazy!

    • Ms. Moore

      Beautiful girl with a courageous spirit!! I think I will share this with my daughter when she gets out of school.

    • L.T.L. Since 2007

      Well since we asking...Has anyone else ever seen an albino Hispanic? I saw one over the weekend and had to make myself stop staring. For some reason, I never gave much thought to other races having albinos.
      Please forgive me.....

    • aRoth

      IDK if it's your phn or not, but the pics uptop look like those pics that are old and have water damage done to it.

    • aRoth

      IJS.

    • Jusstlookn2

      when you have nothing to say...you dance

      Quote "MzWhang"

    • aRoth

      Get'em checked.

    • aRoth

      Get'em checked out.

    • SummerBaby

      It's not my phone because those pics look weird quality or something to me.

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      BWAHHH..its the moles..they make her look blurry, like pixels.

    • WHITTYwithWORDS

      I do..they ain't nothing but that engine blood...lol

    • Meme81

      lmao...I was askin' a serious medical question and u had to flip it ?

    • OpinionHated

      she's a stronger woman than me cause uhhhmmm i'd be like Jesus just make me brown all ovah.....

    • Buttercup

      You should see me in the mirror making sure they don't have rough edges and are the same color. I do need to schedule a dermatologist appointment though. I should make an appointment for when Honey Dip is in town too since he refuses to acknowledge he has severe eczema.

    • Beverly Johnson

      She look like a tatted up Caitlyn

    • OSHH

      Those are skin tags commonly called moles. They develop as folk age and they can be removed by a dermatologist if bothersome, unsightly etc. I have some small tiny ones about my neck region but they not ugly so I leave my "Oracle" moles be

    • aRoth

      Sowwy. LOL

    • aRoth

      What set you claimin'? LOL

    • Enoughsaid2020

      Bless her!

    • GTFOHWTBS

      ...and I complain about the small things. #smdh . god bless her

    • I cAll ThE sHoTs…

      I thought she was being attacked by bees. Sorry, I feel ignorant today.

    • Imperfectly_perfect

      Awww, bless her soul...

    • Mahogany

      Amen

    • perfectlyimperfect

      She's very brave kudos to her.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      You must be referring to skin tags that older black women get as we age. Those are different from Ciera's congenital birthmarks.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      Lol. I don't think so.

    • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

      That's sad. I hope the Daily Mail didn't steal her photos without her permission.

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      If they are Afro Latino yes! Then they would have the black blood to have that condition.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      That's an interesting point. Over the course of many years, many people are appreciating more about the Afro-Latino people, which is a great thing.

    • EasyBreezy

      Yeah, me too GTFOHWTBS...... I will check my self immediately and often. #GodsGraceandMercy

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      I believe that any person with black blood can carry the gene that causes vitaligo.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Good Afternoon Sister,

      Vitiligo is an autoimmune disorder. Many people of African descent have it. One famous entertainer had it and we know who he is. It's very common among people of black African descent. I also read that it can happen to non-blacks as well. In our generation, there is repigmentation services and phototherapy (There is experimental Autologous melanocyte transplants or using someone's own skin to grow it and place it in lighter areas. It's expensive now), but there is no cure for vitiligo.

    • lilli lilian

      Well.....I guess she's no worse off than victims of severe acne.

    • Liah

      Wow!!!

    • Liah

      Indeed!

    • Prettyreddbone?

      I have only one birth mark like her and was teased when I was a kid also. Ppl need to teach their children not to make fun of someone for something that was/is beyond that person's control. God bless her.

    • SSSLOVELIVE

      Good for her. Glad her parents taught her how to deal with life

    • DopeRhymesYo

      Salute her bravery

    • i troll it like i see it

      I always thought it was sun damage? maybe not?

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      " I also read that it can happen to non-blacks as well."

      Really now? you learn something new everyday!

    • Readytochokemothernatureonout

      Bless her and I thought my freckles was something.

    • Readytochokemothernatureonout

      Indeed

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      I read some sites on it. How are you feeling today Sister.

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      I'm well, although its extremely hot here. I'm happy to be working from home at least :) How have you been?

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      I'm doing great today. It has been cooler here in the past week. Later on in the week, it will get warmer. I'm glad that you're having a blessed day. :) I'm a Southerner, so I will eat some food soon.

    • Klassy 1

      Good for her!

    • starbright9449

      Lmaoooo. I didn't mean to bust out laughing but your comment was too funny.

    • starbright9449

      A disclaimer should have been somewhere in the heading. I'm squeamish and this crawled my skin. Now I have to show this to everyone I know to crawl their skin cause mine got crawled. Smt. This gone be long.

    • Canary Red™

      ((((I AM WHAT I AM!!!!!!!!))))

      "Love me or leave me (right where you found me - as I AM)"

      ????

    • Canary Red™

      ((((I AM WHAT I AM!!!!!!!!))))

      "Love me or leave me (right where you found me - as I AM)"

      ????

    • Canary Red™

      ((((I AM WHAT I AM!!!!!!!!))))

      "Love me or leave me (right where you found me - as I AM)"

      ????

    • Canary Red™

      "Heads up, national media: this is what courage and bravery looks like — not a man wearing a dress."

      'Not a man wearing a dress'...SPEAK!!!

    • Canary Red™

      "Heads up, national media: this is what courage and bravery looks like — not a man wearing a dress."

      'Not a man wearing a dress'...SPEAK!!!

    • Canary Red™

      "Heads up, national media: this is what courage and bravery looks like — not a man wearing a dress."

      'Not a man wearing a dress'...SPEAK!!!

    • Apartheid Cried

      I'm proud of her. I had one small neck bm and had it removed. Her marks loks like Vitaligo in reverse.

    • mzwhang90210

      ...

    • mzwhang90210

      Bless her heart.
      I always tell my neices/nephews...unless sumbody is gonna jump in the casket with you when you die...to hell with their judgement.

    • mzwhang90210

      And you yourself must be a beauty queen/king? Let us all hail your presence.

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      Hmm... Food. :P

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      I'm glad that you are having fun today. Yes, I like to eat food, especially sweet potatoes.

    • http://suzar.com/BOTW/BOTW-ch1d-pages7-8.html Staci Elle

      I love candied yams but mostly I make them the healthy way and I bake them and put a small amount of butter and honey inside, soo good!

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Exactly. Now, that's some old school cooking.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      Goodnight Sister Staci Elle. Peace and Blessings to you.

      Bless you.

    • 1/8

      Yep! Learning to love and accept ourselves is the best thing we can ever do.

    • Kima

      I was eating, almost died???

    • Michelle Sibbons

      You are a gorgeous young lady Ciera. Don't let anyone dull your sparkle!
      If anyone wants any further info on Congenital Melanocytic Naevus head to http://www.naevusglobal.org and find a support group in your country. Or head to Nevus Support Australia or Nevus Youth Facebook Pages.

    • ShameTheDevil

      Shout out to her parents who began the process of her accepting how God made her. And agree Sandra, bravery has definitely been redefined lately and this young lady is definitely bringing it back.

    • TheWay

      I wish I could like this a 100X's!!

    • Low E. {CIRCA 1908}

      SKIN ISSUES CATCH A BAD RAP...SHE'S PRETTY.

    • TooMunch

      Btw, freckles are beautiful!!

    • Petty_boots

      Bloop!

    • Petty_boots

      You really are stupid as is everyone around you if a rare skin disease can make you act as such. Btw, the saying is "it made my skin crawl" not "crawled my skin". And you're probably ugly yourself.

    • Kilroy

      She is a strong lady.

    • SpiceGirl

      one brave women!

    • Canary Red™

      You better say that!

      EVER do!!!!!!!!!

      I remember writing a poem called "Don't Make Me Over", about -11 years ago that day. As I wrote that poem and pointed out my "flawS" my "imperfections" according to man, I WAS FREEING MYSELF.
      As I stood on stage and read my poem I was empowered by my own words. I knew I was sure of myself. No more excuse for how I was made. Or AM! I FREED myself! Haven't looked back since. Best thing I ever done!!

    • Canary Red™

      ???????

      U bad...??

    • 1/8

      Wow! That sounds like a very defining moment in your life. Do you still have the poem? If not, can you remember any of the lines from the poem?

    • esh

      God bless her to stay strong. we people are a cruel breed.

    • Canary Red™

      Yes I still have it...somewhere. ???

      But it was basically describing my features and "imperfections" and each time I described it I ended with "Don't make me over"

      Im trying to think of how it went..,I'm drawing a blank right now...???

    • 1/8

      Sounds like a really inspirational poem.

      Several years ago, I wrote a song called, Gone. I was about the fears of living and dying alone. I played it for a friend and he cried like a baby!

      I think we should all have a creative outlet for our feelings.

    • Canary Red™

      Wow. I would love to hear!!!??.
      Your right we need something to let it OUT. No regrets - no judgement. And my writing I do just that. Unapologetic for who I truly am good n bad.

    • starbright9449

      I'm far from ugly. But just by your comment I can tell you have some skin issues and feel some type of way. You should try laser removal hun.