Strawberry marks (Hemangioma)
Medically reviewed by
More than 200,000 US cases per year
- Symptoms: Rubbery nodule of blood vessels, raised/flat mark
- Color: Typically bright red
- Location: Anywhere on the skin
- Treatment: No treatment necessary
Hemangiomas can develop during the child’s first few weeks to clear red, raised skin lesions. Nearly 5% of children have hemangioma, and they are common in premature babies. Hemangioma is completely harmless, unless the lesions obscure the child’s vision and in that case need to be treated.
Symptoms of Hemangioma
Strawberry mark grows gradually (and can become quite large) until the child is 3-4 months old. Then, it spontaneously begins to whiten, and gradually fade. In some cases, it continues to grow up until the child is about one year old. Strawberry marks usually disappear by themselves at 2-4 years of age, and almost always before age 7-8.
Hemangiomas are benign tumors, which is formed as a collection of blood vessels under the skin. They are usually bright red, reddish-purple or dark red. They can be flat or raised. Some hemangiomas that locate deep in the skin can be almost nude or just slightly bluish. The size varies from a few millimeters up to several centimeters. Even small hemangiomas can be seen at birth.
What can I do?
When hemangiomas grow, there may be sores and minor bleeding. If there is a wound, the child may get hurt, but usually the child does not feel it. If it bleeds, press with gauze or a clean towel against the wound until the bleeding stops. If the wound does not heal, it might be due to the bacteria infection, which can be treated with antibiotics. If the hemangioma becomes a wound, there will be a mark left on the skin that is visible for a lifetime.
Should I seek medical care?
You should seek medical care if the child has a visible hemangiomas that occur later than six weeks after delivery, or if the child has six hemangiomas or more. Otherwise, you should also seek help if your child’s hemangioma becomes ulcerated and painful or if the skin around is red and hot.
Treatment for Hemangioma
Hemangiomas have almost never treated unless it is located where it interferes with vital functions or development, such as sight or eating. It will then be treated with drugs during the first year.
If there is still a mark when the hemangioma has disappeared, and the child wants to remove it, you can contact your healthcare provider to discuss this. In this case, it is advisable to remove the mark when the child is older than eight to ten years old.
American Brain Tumor Association. Hemangioma. Available at: http://www.abta.org/brain-tumor-information/types-of-tumors/hemangioma.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Hemangioma. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00630
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