Key Points about Hemangiomas
- They come in all different shapes and sizes.
- They can be found all over the body, but most commonly on the face, head, chest or back.
- Most appear within the first couple weeks of life, and usually a child only has one.
Hemangiomas are created from clumps of blood vessels that did not grow normally.
Hemangioma risk factors
Infants who are female, Caucasian and born prematurely are more likely to develop a hemangioma
Hemangiomas go through three stages which include: the proliferation phase, the resting phase and the involution phase. The birthmark will grow rapidly into a bump within the first year. From there it will enter the resting phase and will eventually start to diminish in size. Half of all hemangiomas resolve by age five.
A pediatrician can diagnosis and monitor a hemangioma during your child’s routine appointments. It is important to distinguish a hemangioma from a vascular malformation as this will determine the type of treatment the child might require.
Most hemangiomas resolve on their own. However, some may require treatment with oral corticosteroids, beta blockers, laser therapy or surgical therapy. This is especially important if the hemangioma affects the child’s vision, breathing or feeding. A plastic surgeon and/or pediatric dermatologist can help determine which treatment course is best for your child and their condition.