These marks do not usually appear immediately at birth, but become visible within the first few weeks of life. Hemangiomas are usually divided into two types: superficial (used to be called “strawberry” hemangiomas), and deep (used to be referred to as “cavernous” hemangiomas).
A superficial Hemangioma is raised and bright red because the abnormal blood vessels are very close to the surface of the skin.
Deep Hemangiomas have a bluish-purple color because the abnormal vessels are deeper under the skin (like varicose veins appear blue). Hemangiomas are more common in females, more common on the head and neck, and more common in premature babies. They can be anywhere on the body.
Usually, a baby will have only one Hemangioma, but sometimes there will be two or three or even some internally. Hemangiomas usually grow very rapidly. Growth generally begins during the first six weeks of life and continues for about six months to one year. Most Hemangiomas never get bigger than two or three inches in diameter, but some may be larger. After the first year, most Hemangiomas will stop growing. They then begin to turn white and slowly shrink. Half of all Hemangiomas (50%) are flat by age five. Nine out of ten (90%) are flat by age nine. Many will completely go away, but often, a faint mark is left. It’s impossible to know how big any hemangioma will grow, or if it will completely disappear.
Occasionally, painful, infected sores can form. A Hemangioma located over the genitals or rectum, near an eye, nose or mouth, can cause special problems. Bleeding usually occurs only after injury. A hemangioma will rarely grow suddenly over one or two days.
The affected baby should be examined by a dermatologist as early as possible so that a correct diagnosis can be made and the possible need for treatment discussed.
Most Hemangiomas do not require treatment. They eventually shrink by themselves, leaving very few signs.
There are several different types of treatments for Hemangiomas. Most of the time, your dermatologist will choose to watch the lesion. The potential benefits of treatment must be weighed against the possible risks.
The most widely used treatment for rapidly growing Hemangiomas is corticosteroid medication. This is either injected into the Hemangioma or given by mouth. Long-term or repeated treatments may be necessary.
Lasers and sclerotherapy can be used to prevent growth of Hemangiomas and to remove superficial Hemangiomas. Hemangiomas with sores that will not heal can also be treated with lasers.
The Port-wine stain is another type of vascular birthmark that occurs in 3 in 1,000 infants. It should not be confused with a Hemangioma.
Port-wine stains appear at birth. They are flat, pink, red or have a purplish discoloration found most often on the face, neck, arms or legs. They can be of any size. Unlike Hemangiomas, port-wine stains grow proportionately as the child grows. Over time, port-wine stains may become thick and develop small bumps or ridges. Port-wine stains do not go away by themselves, and are permanent.
Port-wine stains on the forehead, eyelids or both sides of the face, can be associated with glaucoma and/or seizures. Glaucoma is an increased pressure within the eye that if left untreated, can cause blindness.
Occasionally, there may be very gradual enlargement of tissues surrounding a Port-wine stain, especially if it is affecting an arm or leg.
With time, Port-wine stains can develop small blood vessel growths called vascular blebs. These can bleed easily.
The use of cover-up makeup.
New types of vascular lasers show the best results with the least amount of risk and side effects. Several treatments are usually required, given at two month intervals. In a small number of patients, lasers can totally clear up the port-wine stain. Though, a small number of patients will not respond well to laser therapy.
There are several risks of laser therapy. A temporary increase or decrease in skin color can occur, leaving patchy tanning or whitening of the skin. Swelling, crusting or minor bleeding, scarring can rarely occur. Laser therapy is not extremely painful, as there is no cutting of the skin. General anesthesia is not required for most adults but topical anesthesia (applying a cream) is available. However, general anesthesia is often necessary for toddlers and young children.
The cost of the treatment is decided by the type of treatment chosen. Medical treatment using corticosteroids would be reasonable cheaper as compared to laser therapy. Also, in case of laser therapy, multiple sessions may be required. However, a single consultation with Dr. Kapoor would cost about INR 1000/-.
The Esthetic Clinic is a world class center dedicated to skin care and plastic surgery of the entire body – and specializes in housing an experienced Dermatologist, Dr. Rinky Kapoor, who can provide world class Skin Treatments, for skin diseases and make your skin look beautiful. So if you want to go ahead and get your hair, skin, and nails treated, The Esthetic Clinic is the right place for you.