- Strawberry hemangioma—This type of hemangioma is usually raised and bright red like a strawberry. This bright red coloring is due to numerous, dilated blood vessels that are close to the surface of the skin. These hemangiomas usually go away on their own by age ten. Most of these hemangiomas do not require any treatment unless they ulcerate or are located in places where they could prevent normal body functions, such as around the mouth, nose, eyes, anus, or throat.
- Cavernous hemangioma—This type of hemangioma is beneath the skin. It is puffier than a strawberry hemangioma and more bluish in color. These types of hemangiomas are less likely to go away on their own. Facial hemangiomas may be associated with vascular deformities of the brain. Your doctor may recommend an MRI scan to determine whether this is present.
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- Sex: Female—Hemangiomas are more common in females and premature babies
- Mongolian spots are more common among Asians, East Indians, Africans, Native Americans, and Hispanics
- Café-au-lait spots are more common in African-Americans
- Changes in the color of the skin—lighter or darker than usual
- Lumps or swelling on the skin
- Changes in texture of the skin
- New lesions on the skin
- May differ in size and appearance
- Are most likely present at birth or appear in the first few weeks or months of life
- Are commonly found on the face and neck
- Open sore or ulcer
- Interferes with the appearance or function of nearby structures such as the eyes or mouth
- Excessive bleeding after an injury
- Sudden and rapid growth
- Emotional and social complications
- Interfere with the function of nearby structures such as the eyes
- Growth problems
- Easy bleeding
- Cosmetically undesirable and unlikely to resolve on its own
- Causing discomfort or complications
- Has the potential to develop into a more serious condition (rare)
- Corticosteroids—A type of anti-inflammatory medication that can be given orally or by injection. It is the most common treatment for rapidly growing hemangiomas. Corticosteroid medications are for long-term use. If they are given orally, it may result in poor growth in children and elevated blood sugar.
- Laser therapy—Lasers can be used to prevent the growth of hemangiomas and to remove hemangiomas and port-wine stains.
- Surgery—May be used to remove a colored lesion or to remove scars that remain from other treatments.
- Cosmetic alternatives—There are many makeup products that effectively cover up birthmarks. These are sometimes referred to as corrective cosmetics. They include concealers, neutralizers, and camouflage products.
American Academy of Dermatology http://www.aad.org
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation http://www.birthmark.org
Canadian Dermatology Association http://www.dermatology.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Birthmarks. American Academy of Dermatology website. Available at: http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/for-kids/about-skin/birthmarks/why-people-get-birthmarks. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Birthmarks. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body/birthmarks.html. Updated April 2013. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Guttman C. Clinical, molecular features aid worrisome birthmark recognition. Dermatology Times. 2005;26(4):66-67.
Hemangioma information. Vascular Birthmark Foundation website. Available at: http://www.birthmark.org/node/24. Accessed August 27, 2014.
Hemangioma in infants. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 22, 2014. Accessed August 27, 2014.
- Reviewer: Fabienne Daguilh, MD
- Review Date: 06/2014 -
- Update Date: 05/11/2013 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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