Hemangioma

Hemangioma

(Infantile Hemangioma; Superficial Hemangioma; Deep [or Cavernous] Hemangioma; Strawberry Hemangioma; Strawberry Mark)

How to Say It: He-MAN-jee-OH-ma

Definition

A hemangioma is a type of birthmark. It develops shortly after birth, usually on the head or neck.

Causes

A hemangioma is a cluster of blood vessels that do not form properly. It is not known what causes this to happen.

Risk Factors

Things that raise a baby's risk of a hemangioma are:

  • Premature birth
  • PHACE syndrome

Symptoms

A hemangioma that is close to the skin surface:

  • Looks like a red or purple bump on the skin
  • May continue to grow and spread

A hemangioma that is deeper under the skin—looks like a bluish swelling

Some large hemangiomas may lead to:

  • Ulceration—deep sores in the skin
  • Scarring or deformity
  • Problems with nearby structures—such as the eyes or airway
  • Problems with blood vessels of the eye or brain
  • Heart, kidney, gastrointestinal, brain, or spinal problems

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis may be based on the physical exam. The doctor may advise testing to rule out other problems.

Imaging tests can look at the hemangioma and nearby structures. These may include:

Treatment

Most hemangiomas will go away on their own. The mark usually fades by age 5. It is often gone by puberty.

If the hemangioma is causing problems, the doctor may advise treatment. Options may be:

  • Dressings—to help prevent infection and control oozing
  • Medicines such as:
    • Acetaminophen to ease pain
    • Beta-blockers, steroids, or vincristine (rarely)—to help shrink the hemangioma
    • Topical ointments—to help with wound healing and pain relief
    • Antibiotics— to speed healing or treat infection
  • Surgery—if hemangiomas cause pain, or problems with sight or breathing
  • Lasers—to reduce blood vessels on the surface

Prevention

There are no current guidelines to prevent hemangiomas.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology
https://www.aad.org
Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
http://www.birthmark.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Canadian Dermatology Association
http://www.dermatology.ca

References:

Castrén E, Salminen P, et al. Risk factors and morbidity of infantile haemangioma: preterm birth promotes ulceration. Acta Paediatr. 2016 ;105(8):940-945.
Hemangioma in infants. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hemangioma-in-infants . Accessed February 26, 2021.
Hemangioma. The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation website. Available at: https://birthmark.org/birthmark/hemangioma. Accessed February 26, 2021.
Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated: 2/26/2021

EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

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.

To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at healthlibrarysupport@ebsco.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.

Home |Terms and Conditions |Concerned About Privacy? |Accessibility |Careers |For Employers and Medical Plan Providers

You may also be looking for: CVS/pharmacy | MinuteClinic | Specialty Pharmacy | SilverScript | Accordant