Little Pampered Babies

Hemangioma Babies

Summary:Being a parent can bring a lot of scary surprises, especially when it comes to the health of your baby, so when a hemangioma appears on a newborn and then grows, it can be quite alarming. Don’t worry though, like so many things with kids, a hemangioma (aka strawberry birthmark) is not uncommon and will most likely go away on its own.

Being a parent can bring a lot of scary surprises, especially when it comes to the health of your baby, so when a hemangioma appears on a newborn and then grows, it can be quite alarming. Don’t worry though, like so many things with kids, a hemangioma (aka strawberry birthmark) is not uncommon and will most likely go away on its own. Once a parent understands what the birthmark is, they can understand that it’s harmless and usually doesn’t require treatment.

What is it? A hemangioma is made of tufts of extra blood vessels. When it occurs on the surface of the skin it is known as a strawberry hemangioma. If it’s deeper in the skin, it can be called a cavernous hemangioma. They are actually more common than one might think, occurring in at least one in 50 babies. They do tend to run in families and girls are more likely to get them than boys. They also tend to happen more often in babies with light skin tones and babies that are born prematurely.

Here’s the big question: What is it going to do to my baby’s skin and when will it go away? In answer to the first question, it depends on what type of hemangioma your baby has. The strawberry kind often starts as a small red dot surrounded by a pale halo before growing into a red (or purple), raised, squishy birthmark with sharp borders. Cavernous hemangiomas have more of a bluish appearance with indistinct borders, and if they’re deep enough they may not even be noticeable. In either case, they will most often grow rapidly in size, then plateau before collapsing and disappearing. One sign that it’s entering the final stages is it will turn grey or pinkish grey.

The general cycle of a strawberry hemangioma goes like this: It appears at 3 to 5 weeks, grows rapidly and plateaus by the first year, then is mostly gone by age 2 or 3. The vast majority are gone by the time the child is ready to go to school. For cavernous hemangiomas, it’s a bit different. They are usually present at birth and do not grow or decline quickly. Still, most are gone by puberty.

Are there treatment options available for hemangioma babies? Yes, but it usually isn’t needed since the vast majority go away on their own. However, if a hemangioma proves to be problematic with vision, feeding or with an internal organ’s function, there are surgeons and pediatric dermatologists that have an array of successful treatments to help.

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