When your son or daughter was born, you noticed a red mark or growth on his or her face that hasn’t gone away. In fact, the mark has grown darker and more pronounced. Hemangiomas are non-cancerous birthmarks that can appear at birth or within the first few months and generally look bright red like a strawberry. In most cases, the growth will disappear over time, between the first 12 months to seven years of age.
If you are concerned about how your child’s hemangioma will affect his or her early years of life and potential treatment options, please schedule a consultation with the vascular anomalies treatment group at Pediatric ENT Associates in Birmingham.
What is a Hemangioma?
Hemangiomas are essentially a bundle of blood vessels on the surface of the skin (strawberry or capillary hemangioma) or just below the surface (cavernous hemangiomas). The growth may grow larger for several months, and then stop before it starts to shrink and disappear. In some cases, a hemangioma will leave behind a visible red stain on the surface of the skin even after the raised, bulky tissue has regressed.
It is rare for hemangiomas to have side effects, but some of these growths can bleed, affect vision (if it grows near the eye), become infected, or make breathing difficult if it is growing in the nose or throat.
How are Hemangiomas Treated?
In most cases, capillary hemangiomas are not treated because they will disappear as a child gets older. If the growth is on the face or in a visible area, it is reasonable for a parent to be concerned about how it will affect the child’s development and self-esteem.
Depending on the size, location, and effect that the growth has on the child, the condition may be treated with:
- Lasers to remove the growth and reduce discoloration,
- Sclerotherapy injections to dissolve the capillaries and veins causing the growth, or
- Surgical removal of the hemangioma.
Whether or not your child should undergo treatment for a vascular anomaly will depend largely on the child’s unique situation. The Pediatric ENT Associates can help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of treatment in order to help you make an informed decision for your son or daughter.
Contact a Pediatrician at Children’s of Alabama Today!
If your son or daughter has a hemangioma that you would like to have examined or treated, please contact Pediatric ENT Associates at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama at (205) 831-0101 to schedule a consultation today!
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