What is hemangiomas?

Hemangioma: Overview

Hemangiomas are raised birthmarks. They are clumps of blood vessels that didn't grow normally. They vary in size and may be blue, red, or purple. And they most often occur on the face, scalp, back, or chest. Hemangiomas can be near the skin's surface or deep enough to affect organs.

Most hemangiomas don't need to be treated because they're usually harmless. Most are also painless. And some of them may fade or disappear over time.

They may need to be treated if they:

  • Grow quickly. For example, babies born with severe hemangiomas that are fast-growing need to be treated right away.
  • Cause problems with sight, breathing, hearing, speech, or movement.
  • Grow on internal organs such as the stomach, intestines, liver, or kidneys.
  • Bleed or get infected.
  • Cause problems because of how they look.

Hemangiomas may be treated with medicine, laser therapy, or surgery.

What are the symptoms of hemangiomas?

Hemangiomas usually don't cause symptoms. But they can sometimes cause problems with sight, breathing, hearing, speech, or movement. If they grow on an internal organ, such as the stomach, intestines, liver, or kidneys, they may cause problems with how well that organ works. In rare cases, hemangiomas may become sore, bleed, or get infected.

How are hemangiomas treated?

Most hemangiomas don't need to be treated. But some may need treatment if they grow quickly, get infected, or cause problems with sight, breathing, hearing, speech, or movement. They may be treated with medicines, laser therapy, or surgery.

How are hemangiomas diagnosed?

Your doctor usually can tell if you have a hemangioma by looking at its size, shape, and color. If your doctor thinks a hemangioma may be growing on an internal organ, you may get an imaging test, such as an ultrasound, a CT scan, or an MRI.

How can you care for yourself when you have a hemangioma?

Don't squeeze, scratch, or pick at a hemangioma. This could cause it to bleed and get infected. If the way the hemangioma looks bothers you or your child, you can use a special makeup or clothing to cover it up.

What are hemangiomas?

Hemangiomas are raised birthmarks. They are clumps of blood vessels that didn't grow normally. They may be there at birth or may appear when a baby is several weeks old. Hemangiomas vary in size and color, including blue, red, or purple. They may grow on the skin or extend deeper into the body.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.