A hemangioma may be present at birth, but more often appears during the first several months of life. It starts out as a flat red mark anywhere on the body, most often on the face, scalp, chest or back. Usually a child has only one mark, but some children may have more than one, particularly if they're part of a multiple birth.
During your child's first year, the red mark grows rapidly and becomes a spongy mass that protrudes from the skin. The hemangioma then enters a rest phase and, eventually, it begins to slowly disappear.
Half of all hemangiomas resolve by age 5, and nearly all hemangiomas are resolved by age 10. Although the color of the birthmark also fades, faint — but permanent — discoloration of the skin or residual extra skin may remain.
When to see a doctor
Your child's doctor will monitor the hemangioma during routine checkups. Contact your child's doctor if the hemangioma bleeds, forms a sore or appears infected.
July 30, 2013
- Kliegman RM, et al. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1608/0.html. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 21st ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=14. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Usatine RP, et al. The Color Atlas of Family Medicine. New York, NY.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=678. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Metry DW. Epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features and complications of infantile hemangiomas. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 21, 2013.
- Metry DW. Management of infantile hemangiomas. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 21, 2013.
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