Some babies have visible veins on their noses or foreheads. This vein is called a “sugar bug.” Sugar bug baby is a term used to refer to babies with such veins. The appearance of sugar bugs on babies’ foreheads can cause worry. Is this a normal phenomenon or something to worry about? Will it disappear?
This post provides you with detailed information about sugar bugs to understand if it is normal or abnormal.
Is Sugar Bug Vein Normal?
It is entirely normal for babies to have sugar bug veins. Although we all have veins, some veins are more evident in babies. There are various theories about sugar bug veins. Traditional Japanese medicine believes that sugar bug veins indicate a syndrome called “kanmushi”, which causes a weakened immune system, sugar sensitivity, and irritability in children.
Some other theories claim that sugar bug veins signify mutations in the MTHFR gene, a condition that might cause health problems. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. Since there is no conclusive evidence, we can say sugar bug veins are not a cause for concern.
How Does It Look Like?
Sugar bug veins are usually blue. It may be about 1.5-2mm thick and usually appears on the bridge of the child’s nose or between the eyes.
Causes Of Sugar Bug In Babies
The cause of sugar bug veins is not known. There is no scientific evidence to prove why sugar bug veins appear in some babies. However, here are a few characteristics that may make sugar bug veins more noticeable in babies.
- Fair skin: The veins of babies with fair skin are more prominent.
- The thickness of the skin: Babies usually have thin and delicate skin. Some babies’ skin may be more transparent than others, allowing light to pass through more easily. These factors make sugar bug veins more visible.
- Size of the veins: The size of the baby’s veins might also impact the visibility of sugar bug veins.
Foods To Avoid In Sugar Bug Vein
Although traditional Chinese and Japanese medicines recommend certain food restrictions for babies with sugar veins, there is no research to prove these claims. However, restrictions on unhealthy foods may be beneficial for babies. Here are a few foods that traditional medicines recommend avoiding.
- Sugar: Avoid foods that contain added sugar, such as cookies, candies, cotton candies, and cakes. You should also monitor the intake of foods containing natural sugars, such as fruits, honey, and maple syrup. You should limit the consumption of carbohydrate-rich food.
- Cold food: Cold foods, such as ice creams, may cause nasal congestion and cough. Therefore, Chinese medicine recommends restrictions on cold foods.
- Raw foods and dairy: These foods may be difficult to digest. Therefore, Chinese medicine imposes restrictions on raw foods and dairy products. Chinese medicine recommends adjusting the mother’s diet if the baby is exclusively breastfeeding.
Foods To Be Included In Sugar Bug Vein
- Fresh food: Give your baby freshly prepared whole food every time.
- Nutritional diet: Traditional medicine recommends a diet rich in water-soluble B vitamins, zinc, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.
Does A Sugar Bug Go Away?
As the baby grows, the veins of sugar bugs are less visible. The aging process causes a lot of changes in the face and body. The face and the body grow, fill out, and the skin thickens. During this process, vein drainage may also change. All these changes may make sugar bug veins less evident. Although medical science is yet to make any conclusions on why sugar bug veins disappear, they mostly disappear or become less noticeable after the first year.
How To Support The Baby With The Sugar Bug Vein?
Besides providing sugar bug babies with a healthy diet, Chinese medicine offers other methods to support babies with sugar bug veins. All these are excellent ideas for babies’ health, so implementing these practices will benefit babies.
- Create a structured environment: Prepare an appropriate schedule for the baby. Try to fix a time for sleep, bathing, meals, and playtime. Following a timely routine may help your baby make better adjustments and reduce crankiness.
- Take cues from the baby’s behavior: Observe the baby’s behavior and act accordingly. Keep track of when the child seems uncomfortable. Put the baby to bed early if the baby gets upset at noon. If the baby appears irritable after consuming specific foods, remove the foods from the diet plan for some time.
- Avoid exposure to excessive stimuli: Excess stimulation can overwhelm the baby. They cannot bear exposure to too many sensations or activities. Overstimulation can make them cranky and tired. Therefore, it is best to limit their exposure to loud noises or flashing lights(1). If they seem unsettled by TV sounds or loud music at parties, take them to a quiet place to calm them down.
When To Call The Doctor?
Typically, sugar bugs will disappear automatically without medical intervention. However, if you notice the following symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.
- A strange lump
- Presence of dents, scars, or a bunch of hair on the bridge of the baby’s nose
- Any swelling or uneven appearance of the skin in the area
- The throbbing of the vein
- Blue-purple swelling or any other color change around the nose
Sometimes blue-purple swelling may indicate the presence of hemangioma, a birthmark made of extra blood vessels and is benign. Although most of them disappear without medical treatment, some may cause scars, sores, infection, or difficulties in breathing, seeing, or eating, depending on the location (2). Therefore, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Babies are very precious. You will automatically feel protective about them and care about their health. It is natural to feel anxious when you notice a blue line on the baby’s skin. However, you don’t have to worry about them. There is no scientific research linking sugar bugs to serious health conditions. However, you can consult a pediatrician if you are worried about sugar bugs.
2. Hemangioma; Nationwide Children’s Hospital