Hemangioma is a type of benign vascular lesion that is formed from stem cells and disorganized blood vessels in the skin. At Miami Dermatology and Laser Institute, board-certified dermatologist, Jill Waibel, MD, FAAD, treats hemangioma for men and women living all over the world.
What is Hemangioma?
Hemangioma are unique birthmarks that entail a cluster of blood vessels and stem cells that cause a raised, red bump or lump to appear on the skin. Typically, hemangiomas develop within the first year of life and then resolve without treatment, but some hemangiomas can be positioned in a way that interferes with everyday activities such as breathing, or eyesight. They can appear in the first few weeks of life and can grow at a rate much faster than the rest of the body. If left untreated, some hemangioma can ulcerate, bleed, scar, or cause infection.
What Causes Hemangioma?
Currently, the exact cause of a hemangioma is unknown and additional clinical trials need to be conducted. Family history may be a factor. They are most common in premature infants and females. Studies show that 60% of hemangiomas are found in the head and neck region and 80% of hemangiomas appear as single lesions.
How is Hemangioma Treated?
The decision to initiated treatment for a hemangioma is based on many factors that include size, location, functional compromise, psychological implications, and risks and benefits of therapeutic treatment options. Some of the treatment options are:
- Medications to slow the development of the hemangioma
- Injections that inhibit growth of the hemangioma
- Laser surgery to remove the hemangioma
- Combination of treatment (topical medications, oral medications, and laser therapy)