Infantile hemangiomas are very common with more than 200,000 cases per year
A hemangioma is a noncancerous tumor made up of a cluster of blood cells that group together into a dense clump. They are most commonly found in infants and present as a red, raised birth mark. Hemangiomas found on the surface of skin often fade on their own and do not cause any major symptoms. Hemangiomas growing on the spine or internal organs only require medical attention if they are causing symptoms such as nausea, vomitting, abdominal discomfort, or loss of appetite. Due to the benign nature of a hemangioma, most cases are not cause for concern.
In most cases, hemangiomas do not require treatment. They might fade on their own and rarely present symptoms. However, hemangiomas that develop ulcerations or sores on the face can lead to infection and will require medical attention. Additionally, if your child is experiencing vision, breathing, or hearing problems, surgical treatment may be required. Treatment options include:
- Anti-inflammatory medication for hemangiomas on the nose, lips, or eyelids
- Compressions to control possible swelling
- Sclerotherapy – minimally invasive procedure aimed to cut off the blood supply of the hemangioma to shrink the tumor
- Topical beta blockers to slow growth and inflammation
- Oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist
Although hemangiomas may resolve on their own, it is important for a medical professional to exam the site and monitor its progress.