A hemangioma is the most common skin growth of childhood, seen in up to 10% of infants. Infantile hemangiomas are benign vascular growths that may be visible at birth or, at times, recognized in the first few weeks or even months of life. In general, however, most hemangiomas become evident by 2 to 3 weeks of age. Commonly known as a “strawberry mark” or raised red skin lesion, infantile hemangiomas tend to appear on the face, scalp, chest or back.
The cause of hemangiomas in babies is not yet understood but it is known that they are not related to drug or medications that may have been taken during pregnancy, nor due to any known environmental exposures. There is some evidence that hemangiomas may have a genetic component with current research focusing on the hemangioma precursor cell.
Typically, infantile hemangiomas are not problematic as they are painless and will resolve over time. However, there are specific circumstances that suggest treatment might be needed:
- Ulceration and bleeding
- Interference with vital functions such as vision, hearing, breathing or feeding
- Distortion of facial features or a large lesion
Investigation and treatment plans must be determined by your pediatrician/dermatologist team. Treatment is dependent upon stage of growth, the presence of complications, and emotional needs and considerations. Observation, drug therapy, laser therapy and surgical removal are the four most common management options. In some patients, a combination of treatment may be used over time.
For more information please contact our office. We have pediatric dermatologists (fellowship trained professionals in both dermatology and pediatric dermatology) who have experience in diagnosing, evaluating and management of infantile hemangiomas.
For more information please contact our office. We have pediatric dermatologists (fellowship trained professionals in both dermatology and pediatric dermatology) who have experience in diagnosing, evaluating and management of infantile hemangiomas. Schedule an appointment on our website or give our office a call at 203-538-5682.