Overview

Hemangiomas are a form of skin growth that appears as red or purple lumps. It resembles a rubbery lump and is made up of fast-dividing blood vessel wall cells or endothelial cells. They commonly appear during the first or second week of life. Hemangiomas can appear anywhere on the body. However, they are usually found on the face, scalp, chest, or back.

The two most common types of hemangiomas are the following:

  • Capillary hemangiomas: This type is found on the skin’s surface layers.
  • Cavernous hemangiomas: Form in the deeper skin layers, frequently near the eyes.

Infantile hemangiomas typically fade away on their own and do not require treatment. By the time a child reaches 10 years of age, any visible signs of the condition during infancy usually disappear. However, if the hemangioma affects vision, breathing, or other functions, treatment may be necessary. Hemangiomas are a benign tumor and can be removed through surgery without the risk of recurrence.

Symptoms

Hemangiomas are a common skin condition in children that usually appear as a red mark. They often disappear on their own by the age of 10, with many fading by the age of 5. Hemangiomas can range in size from one-quarter to two inches and may protrude from the skin during a child’s first year. In some cases, children may have multiple hemangiomas, especially if they are a result of a multiple birth.

Most hemangiomas do not cause pain, but they can be easily damaged if they protrude from the skin and are bumped or scratched. Cavernous hemangiomas may cause pain depending on their location, especially if they are on muscles or in bones. It is important to monitor hemangiomas, as they can cause symptoms if they change color, bleed, or obstruct vision, breathing, eating, hearing, or passing.

After a hemangioma disappears, the skin may appear slightly discolored or elevated. While most hemangiomas do not require treatment, it is important to consult a healthcare provider if any symptoms arise. Overall, hemangiomas are a common skin condition in children that typically disappear on their own and do not cause pain or other symptoms.

Causes

The cause of hemangiomas, which are abnormal growths of blood vessels, is not clearly understood. In children, these growths are believed to result from faulty development of blood vessels during fetal development. While some cases of hemangiomas in adults may occur following injury or illness, the exact cause of such growths remains unknown to researchers.

Risk factors

Hemangioma can occur at any stage during one’s life. However, some may have an increased risk of developing it, such as:

  • Infants, it affects about 10% of newborns at birth.
  • Females
  • Caucasians or white infants
  • Prematurely born infants
  • Adults aged 40s and 50s