A haemangioma is a benign tumour of the endothelial cells that line blood vessels and is characterized by increased number of normal or abnormal vessels filled with blood.
It is generally seen during the first week of life and resolves by the age of 10. It is the most common tumour in infancy. Haemangiomas are connected to the circulatory system. The appearance depends upon its location. If they are on the surface of the skin, they are evocative of a ripe strawberry (hence, they are sometime called as “strawberry haemangiomas”). If they are just under the skin they present as a bluish swelling.
- A red to reddish-purple, raised sore (lesion) on the skin
- A massive, raised tumour with blood vessels.
Mostly haemangiomas are found on the face and neck.
The exact cause of haemangioma is currently unknown. It consists of an abnormally dense group of extra blood vessels. The haemangioma may be:
- In the top skin layers (capillary haemangioma)
- Deeper in the skin (cavernous haemangioma)
A combination of both Haemangioma together may occur.
A haemangioma is usually diagnosed based on its appearance. Diagnostic tests aren’t usually needed.
Laser surgery: Laser surgery is generally performed to stop the growth of a haemangioma. Sometimes lasers can be used to remove a haemangioma or treat sores on a haemangioma that won’t heal. The risks include pain, infection, bleeding, scarring and changes in skin colour.
Corticosteroid medications: Corticosteroids can be injected, given orally or applied to the skin. These medications are most effective when they’re given during the growth phase. They’re used to stop the growth of the haemangioma. Long-term or repeated treatment may be needed.
For treatment one should consult the doctor.
- Bleeding (especially if haemangioma is injured)
- Problems with breathing and eating
- Psychological problems, from skin appearance