Often a baby is born with a little red dot and then within a few weeks that dot has transformed into a large vascular lesion. This occurs in 5% of births. They are called infantile hemangiomas. Usually they appear by four weeks of age and STOP enlarging by five months of age. Most involute (resolve) by age four.
Management of infantile hemangiomas is often “benign neglect.” This means … watchful-waiting. If indicated, ultrasound may be done to see how much blood flow and to watch the underlying structures. Other structural abnormalities may be present. If the vascular lesion is near the airway or the mouth or the eye this may cause functional impairment and warrants closer investigation.
Elective treatment may be performed to reduce the likelihood of disfigurement as up to 70% of infantile hemangiomas lead to residual skin changes (increased blood vessels at the site or redundant/extra skin or scarring).
Treatment may include systemic (or injected) steroids or blood pressure medications or laser therapy. Surgical resection is not recommended because of the higher risk of surgery complications to the child.
Watchful waiting until the child is age 4 and then addressing any resultant skin changes may be the best treatment. Talk to your doctor about what is right for your child.
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