What is Strawberry Hemangioma?
Strawberry hemangiomas are a type of vascular birthmark. It is a raised bright red spot, often small, usually soft and compressible characterized with well-defined borders. They consist of an abnormally dense group of widened (dilated) blood vessels. They appear on the surface of the skin as red-blue spongy masses.
Where and When does strawberry hemangioma occur?
Strawberry Hemangioma occurs most commonly on the face, scalp, chest or back. It may be present at birth but it appears more commonly during the first one or two months of life. One to three children's out of hundred children's are born with strawberry hemangioma. In rare cases, they may also occur on internal organs, such as the liver, spleen or pancreas and interfere with them and are associated with life-threatening complications.
How does strawberry hemangioma occur and how long does it lasts?
Strawberry hemangioma start out flat and then go through a rapid growth phase in the first six to 12 months of the life of infant. This rapid growth may worry the parents. The hemangioma then stops growing and goes through a rest phase. Finally, it starts to disappear. Unfortunately, it takes much longer for a strawberry hemangioma to disappear than it does to appear. About 50 percent of strawberry hemangioma disappear completely by the time the child is 5 years old.
The vast majority of children with strawberry hemangiomas experience no complications. However, there are a few who do encounter some problems. In less than five percent of children, the hemangioma can leave a divot in the skin during its fading away phase. These usually occur when the lips are involved. In addition, uncommonly, the hemangioma can enlarge to involve structures vital to eyesight or breathing.
Symptoms of strawberry hemangioma
Symptoms of strawberry hemangioma include following:
A strawberry hemangioma may cause other symptoms if its location interferes with a vital organ. For example, a lesion on the neck could press down on the trachea and interfere with breathing, and a hemangioma near the eye or on the ear could limit vision or affect hearing.
Treatment Strawberry Hemangioma
Strawberry hemangioma are often not treated. When they are allowed to disappear on their own, the result is usually normal-appearing skin. In some cases, a laser may be used to eradicate the small vessels.
Recently, lasers have been used to reduce the bulk of the hemangiomas. Lasers emitting yellow light selectively damage the vessels in the hemangioma without damaging the overlying skin. Some physicians are using a combination of steroid injection and laser therapy together.
There is no prevention for strawberry hemangioma till date.
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