View Main Condition: Vascular Birthmark
A hemangioma is an abnormal buildup of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs.
Infantile hemangioma; Cavernous hemangioma; Strawberry nevus; Birthmark - hemangioma
About one third of hemangiomas are present at birth. The rest appear in the first several months of life.
The hemangioma may be:
Symptoms of a hemangioma are:
Most hemangiomas are on the head, neck, or extremities.
The majority of small or uncomplicated hemangiomas may not need treatment. They often go away on their own and the appearance of the skin returns to normal. Sometimes, a laser may be used to remove the small blood vessels.
Taking beta-blocker medicines may also help reduce the size of a hemangioma.
Cavernous hemangiomas that involve the eyelid and block vision can be treated with lasers or steroid injections to shrink them. This allows vision to develop normally. Large cavernous hemangiomas or mixed hemangiomas may be treated with steroids, taken by mouth or injected into the hemangioma.
Small superficial hemangiomas will often disappear on their own. About one half go away by age 5, and almost all disappear by age 7.
These complications can occur from a hemangioma:
All birthmarks, including hemangiomas, should be evaluated by your provider during a regular exam.
Hemangiomas of the eyelid that may cause problems with vision must be treated soon after birth. Hemangiomas that interfere with eating or breathing also need to be treated early.
Contact your provider if a hemangioma is bleeding or develops a sore.
There is no known way to prevent hemangiomas.
Published Date: November 30, 2022
Published By: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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Patterson JW. Vascular tumors. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Limited; 2021:chap 39.