What is it?
Infantile hemangioma or Strawberry Mark is common type of birth mark. It is usually not visible at birth. They increase in size for few months, remain stable for next few months and subside by few years.They are not cancer like growth. They are full of small blood vessels and are bright red in color.
When it appears?
During 1st few weeks of life in most cases but may take up to 6 months to be visible.
Why my child? Did I do anything wrong?
No. You could not have done anything to prevent it. Cause of this disorder is not known yet. They are seen more commonly in preterm babies and girls and with multiple pregnancy eg twins, or triplets.
Site: Most commonly over face, scalp and neck but sometimes over buttocks as well.
- Superficial hemangiomas
- Deep hemangiomas
- Mixed hemangiomas
They occur in different shapes and sizes. Most children have single lesion (around 80%) but they can be multiple.
Are they painful? No, they are not painful
Will they grow in size?
Yes, they have 3 phases
- Growing phase: rapidly grows for first few months
- Resting phase: by 8 to 14 months of age
- Involution phase: starts shrinking after 1 year of age upto 5 years
Will they reoccur in next pregnancy? No increase in risk.
Will it come back? No. once it fades away, it does not grow again.
- Interference with organ function: like vision, mouth or diaper area.
Will the hemangioma leave a scar?
It might leave a scar depending upon size, location and whether it has got infected or ulcerated.
Diagnosis is clinical in most cases. Sometimes Doppler might be done to check the blood flow.
No treatment in most cases. But some may need treatment.
- Observation: Most hemangiomas will disappear with time and without active intervention.
- Oral systemic corticosteroids
- Surgical removal: Only in some cases and mostly due to cosmetic reasons or in certain cases if it is interfering with organ function like vision.
- Laser therapy: your doctor will tell you the best option regarding your baby.
- Medications like Vincristine, Propranolol, Regranex (becaplermin) gel etc. However currently, the FDA has not approved the use of any medication for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas.