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What You Need to Know About Hemangioma

What You Need to Know About Hemangioma

What is Hemangioma?

A hemangioma is a bright red mark made up of blood vessels that is often present at birth. Sometimes, it shows up in the first two weeks or even the first few months of life. It often looks like an ordinary bump. Hemangiomas are often referred to as “strawberry marks.”

A hemangioma can be located on any part of the body but is most frequently found on the scalp or face. It may also appear on the back or chest. There are also cases of hemangiomas appearing on the spine or on internal organs.

A hemangioma on the skin may grow for the first few years of life. Around age five, it begins to slowly disappear and by the age of 10, is generally gone.

It is caused by blood vessels clumping together. Why they do this is unknown. Hemangiomas are more common in premature caucasian girls. Why this is the case is also unknown.

Different Types of Hemangioma in Children

A congenital hemangioma is rare. It is present at birth. It can be any shape but is generally round and can be as large as four inches. . It may be pink and blue and purple and look like a bruise. They grow as the child grows. There are two types:

  • Rapidly involuting congenital hematoma (RICH), which needs no treatment and disappears on its own by the time the child is two-years-old.
  • Non-involuting congenital hematoma (NICH), which does not shrink and may require treatment depending on its location and problems it might be causing.

An infantile hemangioma appears in the first few days or weeks after birth. They may grow larger for a time and then begin shrinking. They usually disappear by the time the child is 7-years old. There are two types of infantile hemangiomas:

  • Superficial hemangioma. These are on the surface of the skin and have a red appearance.
  • Deep hemangioma. These grow under the skin and make a blue or purple bulge.

What Causes Hemangioma in Adults and Methods of Removal

Cherry hemangiomas appear in older adults. They are small red bumps that generally do not grow larger than the size of a pencil eraser. They occur in all races and increase in frequency with age.

They generally do not cause problems but may be removed if they are cosmetically annoying. They may also need removal if they frequently bleed and get sore. They may be cut away, burned away with electrocautery, or frozen off with cryosurgery.

Hemangioma Treatment for Children: How to Get Rid of Hemangioma

A hemangioma often requires no treatment. If the hemangioma interferes with vision, hearing, breathing, or elimination, it will need treatment. It may also need treatment if the hemangioma breaks down and develops a sore. The sore can bleed and become infected, which can lead to scarring. When this happens, the hemangioma needs to be treated.

Treatment consists of:

  • Beta-blocker drug. This is a gel ointment applied topically to the skin. In severe cases, oral medication may be added.
  • Corticosteroid medications. This is used if there is no response to the beta-blocker. It can be applied topically, injected into the hemangioma, or taken orally.
  • Laser surgery. This depends on the size of the hemangioma and other factors.

Do Not Take Chances with Your Skin! Schedule an Appointment for Professional Advice

If you believe you or your child has a hemangioma, you need to see a dermatologist who can help you understand the condition and advise you on whether the hemangioma needs treatment. Reach out to Dr. Leslie Storey at Valley Skin Institute to request an appointment with our skilled Fresno dermatologists.


Dr. Leslie Storey | Valley Skin Institute

Dr. Leslie Storey is a board-certified physician specializing in medical and surgical dermatology. Her mission is to find and remove skin cancer, which she does more than 2,000 times a year. An expert in Mohs Surgery, Dr. Storey’s patients often comment that they are amazed at how minimal their scar is after they have healed from surgery. If you notice anything suspicious on your skin, request an appointment with Dr. Storey to have it checked out.

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