Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
What is a Strawberry Hemangioma?
This is a vascular birthmark. It is also referred to as a strawberry birthmark, hemangioma, infantile hemangioma, or superficial hemangioma.
This type of birthmark is found on the top layer of your skin and is a harmless growth. They will usually appear shortly after the baby is born and then during the first year of life grow quickly.
Approximately ten percent of newborns are affected. Although it can happen to both genders they are about five times higher in females. Premature infants and white infants are more at risk to have one develop as are infants who mother’s had a placenta that was abnormal.
Mother who had chorionic villus sampling during their prenatal time period is also at risk to have an infant with a strawberry hemangioma. At birth one in three infants born will have this birthmark while others who have it appear in the first few months of life.
The strawberry hemangioma will appear as a nodule of extra blood vessels or a bight red patch.
Types of Strawberry Hemangioma
There are three different types of strawberry hemangioma which are:
- Superficial hemangioma—these are the birthmarks that appear on the surface of their skin and usually not painful. Depending on where it is located it could affect their sight, eating, difficulty in passing feces, or eating.
- Cavernous hemangioma—these are the birthmarks that are found internally and it is this type that may affect the infant’s internal organs like their liver or lungs. What organ that may be affected depends on where it is located.
- A combination of both kinds
Most of the time there is just one strawberry hemangioma but there are cases where there have been multiple ones. They can appear anywhere on the body but will usually appear on their neck, head, or face.
They do not usually reach their full size until the infant turns ten months old and then it starts to disappear and is usually completely gone before they turn five years old but can remain until they become a teenager.
Strawberry Hemangioma Symptoms
The symptoms that the infant displays will vary with each infant. Some of the symptoms they may exhibit are:
- Beginning within the first two weeks after birth.
- Starting as a reddish patch that is flat and appears to look like a bruise or it could look like a bump or as a big raised tumor that has blood vessels.
- Growing quickly for weeks, maybe even months.
- Forming a raised area that can range from two to three inches when they peak.
- Having borders that are well-defined and bright red.
They may be prone to spontaneously bleeding if they grow too large. During the first year of their life it protrudes from their skin and is a spongy mass. Although the color does fade they can leave behind residual extra skin or faint permanent discoloration of their skin.
Strawberry Hemangioma Causes
A strawberry hemangioma is caused by a dense group of extra blood vessels that is abnormal. No one knows for sure exactly what causes this abnormality. There have been some researchers that think it happens because of a link between certain proteins that is produced by the placenta during her pregnancy and the strawberry hemangioma. Sometimes the cause is hereditary.
Strawberry Hemangioma Treatment
Most of the time strawberry hemangioma do not require treatment but if they are cavernous hemangioma or a combination of both these could be serious and should be followed by their pediatrician. In addition, if they start to bleed, appear to change in color, or appear infected you should check with their pediatrician.
If they can threaten the infant’s eyesight or is located in their airway the pediatrician will use treatments to slow the growth of it by prescribing an oral or injected form of corticosteroid. Approximately thirty percent will respond to this form of treatment and slow it down but the treatment will not make it disappear.
If this treatment does not work they may prescribe Interferon which has a response rate of up to seventy percent but it comes with adverse side effects.
If the strawberry hemangioma does not respond to the medical therapy and the hemangioma is severe they can surgically remove it or use radiation. They can also use cryosurgery to freeze the strawberry hemangioma.
Many pediatricians feel that it is not necessary to treat a strawberry hemangioma for cosmetic reasons because the treatments usually have potential side effects and will go away on their own.
Strawberry Hemangioma Pictures
Collection of Photos, Images and Pictures of Strawberry Hemangioma…