Infantile Hemangioma is a common condition in which a group of blood vessels grow under or on the baby’s skin and appear as a bright, red birthmark.
Mostly found in premature babies, infantile hemangiomas become visible within first few days or weeks after birth. However, they are different from congenital hemangiomas and are treated differently.
Infantile Hemangioma Is Classified Into Two Types:
Also known as ‘cutaneous hemangioma’ these birth marks’ grow on the skin surface. They are also called as ‘strawberry birthmarks’ in a layman’s language for their red, bumpy appearance.
These cluster of blood vessels grow under the skin, look bulgy, blue or purple in colour. Hemangiomas can also develop on vital organs such as kidneys, liver, lungs or even brain.
Signs And Symptoms:
Most infantile hemangiomas grow faster in the first few months of the birth and then shrink slowly. Shrinking starts at around 1 year of age and it may completely disappear by the time child reaches the age of 7. Though they are medically referred as tumours, they are not cancerous and are non-contagious.
However, infantile hemangiomas that appear on the top of eye can cause vision problems. Other complications may include reduced air flow through nose and mouth, bleeding, ulceration of the skin, interfering with the blood flow in severe cases.
An infantile hemangioma on the face is often associated with vascular anomalies in the brain. In few cases, infantile hemangioma runs in the families, but studies reveal that it is not genetical in all cases.
Diagnosis And Treatment:
Doctors recommend parents to wait till it goes away on its own. However, infantile hemangioma under the skin is diagnosed through an MRI or by an ultrasound scan, to learn if it has spread on to the vital organs as well.
Medical intervention is needed only when it is causing vision problems. Treatment options include intravenous medication injected into the affected area, surgery to completely remove hemangioma, blocking the vessels from inside the body, laser treatment.
If infantile hemangioma goes away on its own, it may leave a stretched skin behind. Talk to your dermatologist or plastic surgeon to fix the problem and for proper medication.