Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments

Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments Hemangiomas are common, non-cancerous tumors found mostly in babies. They can also show up in adults. Knowing about hemangioma helps us deal with their growth and care. They look reddish-blue and can appear on the skin or inside the body, leading to different health issues.

Scientists are still studying what causes hemangioma. They think family history and the environment might play a part. Learning the causes helps doctors find them early. This, in turn, helps in making a treatment plan that’s right for each person.

At Acibadem Healthcare Group, the latest treatments are used. These can include medicine, laser treatment, or surgery. They show how important it is to treat each case uniquely. They focus on what’s best for the patient to get good results.

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What is Hemangioma?

Hemangiomas are known as benign vascular tumors from blood vessels. They show up on the skin or inside the body. You might see them as red or purple marks on the skin.

It’s important to know that hemangiomas are not cancerous. They usually don’t cause big health problems. But, sometimes they need to be treated if they bother how our body works or if they look bad.

It’s key to tell hemangiomas apart from other vascular anomalies. Some may get better on their own but others need treatment. Spotting them early and watching them is important for treating them right.

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  • Hemangiomas are benign tumors of blood vessels.
  • The most common type is skin hemangiomas, visible on the surface.
  • They need to be distinguished from other vascular anomalies for proper treatment.

Hemangioma Definition

A hemangioma is a good-sized tumor that’s mainly made of blood vessels. It can show up on the skin’s outside or inside the body. They vary in size and shape. Knowing what a hemangioma is helps tell it apart from other things that look similar.

Medical Terminology

Hemangioma comes from Greek words. “Haima” means blood and “angeion” means vessel. These tumors are called benign, meaning they are not as bad as cancer. Doctors look at where and how they look to give a correct hemangioma definition. This helps with finding the right treatment.

Term Definition
Hemangioma A benign vascular tumor comprising an abnormal buildup of blood vessels.
Benign Non-cancerous and generally not harmful.
Vascular Pertaining to blood vessels.

Common Misconceptions

Some people think hemangiomas are like cancer. This is not true. People also mix them up with other blood vessel issues. This confusion happens because there is not enough clear talk about hemangiomas. Knowing the right words and facts can clear up these wrong ideas. This is good for everyone’s health knowledge.

Causes of Hemangioma

Many things can cause hemangiomas, including what runs in your family and where you grow up. Knowing these reasons helps doctors find better ways to help.

Genetic Factors

Your genes are a big part of why you might get a hemangioma. If people in your family have had one, you might too. Scientists have found certain gene markers tied to having a higher chance of a hemangioma. This makes it clearer how our genes can make blood vessels grow oddly.

Environmental Influences

Where and how we live can also play a role in hemangioma growth. Although we’re not sure about some details yet, early studies hint that when a mom is older, her baby is very small, or comes early, it might increase the hemangioma risk. More research is being done to look deeper into how these factors mix with our genes to cause hemangiomas.

Types of Hemangioma

Hemangiomas are tumors that look like splotches and show up in different ways at different ages. It’s really important to know the different kinds to treat them properly. We will look at infantile hemangiomacongenital hemangioma, and adult hemangioma.

Infantile Hemangioma

Infantile hemangioma shows up in the first weeks of a baby’s life as a tiny red spot. It grows fast and then goes away slowly. They are very common in babies.

  • Appearance: Bright red, raised, and bumpy during the proliferative phase.
  • Growth: Rapid growth in the first year, followed by a gradual regression over several years.
  • Treatment: Often managed with observation, but may require intervention if complications arise.

Congenital Hemangioma

Congenital hemangiomas are there when a baby is born. They come in two types, they either shrink fast or don’t shrink at all.

Type Characteristics Treatment
RICH Appear as bulky lesions, involute significantly during the first year Typically require minimal intervention
NICH Remain unchanged or grow slowly, do not undergo involution May need surgical removal if symptomatic

Adult Hemangioma

Adult hemangiomas are less common and can show up on skin, inside the body, or in muscles.

  1. Skin Hemangiomas: They look like raised, red spots, but in adults, they are small and not as big as in babies.
  2. Internal Hemangiomas: They can happen in organs like the liver. They usually have no symptoms but might need to be treated sometimes.
  3. Muscular Hemangiomas: These are rare and found with special tests. They might need surgery if they cause problems.

Hemangioma Symptoms

It’s key to notice hemangioma symptoms early for good care. These tumors can show different signs and change over time.

Initial Signs

Hemangiomas often show up in the first few weeks of life. They look like small red or bluish spots. Some look like bruises, while others are like birthmarks. Caregivers should know about these signs because they can look different:

  • Superficial Hemangiomas look like bright red patches, similar to strawberries.
  • Deep Hemangiomas are usually bluish lumps under the skin.

If you see these signs, talk to a doctor. Early check-ups can help avoid problems and teach you about these tumors.

Progression Over Time

Hemangiomas can grow quickly at first, then stop growing for a while. Finally, they slowly get smaller.

Knowing the progression of hemangiomas is key:

  1. Growth Phase: Happens in the first six months, with fast growth.
  2. Plateau Phase: Stops growing for a bit, usually in the first year.
  3. Involution Phase: They start to shrink, which can take years.

Regular check-ups help keep an eye on hemangiomas. This makes it easier to treat if needed and avoid problems.

Hemangioma Phase Duration Key Characteristics
Growth Phase 0-6 months Rapid enlargement
Plateau Phase 6 months-1 year Stable size
Involution Phase 1 year-several years Gradual regression

Learning about early signs and phases can help. It lets you look after hemangiomas better and know when to see a doctor.

Hemangioma in Adults

Hemangiomas can affect both kids and adults with some differences. If an adult has a hemangioma, it might be noticed due to its unique growth and slower fading.

Presentation and Diagnosis: In adults, hemangiomas can show up on the skin or in the body. They are often found by chance when looking for other health problems. Unlike in kids, these tumors are not usually many. They often feel like a lump and might need tests to tell if they are harmful.

Potential Complications: These growths are usually not dangerous. But, a hemangioma in a key place could be a big problem. For example, if it blocks an airway, it needs quick treatment.

Characteristic Pediatric Hemangiomas Adult Hemangiomas
Growth Pattern Rapid early growth, often involutes Slow growth, rarely involutes
Presentation Multiple small nodules Solitary, larger nodules
Common Locations Head and neck Internal organs, skin

Treatment Considerations: Treating adult hemangiomas varies based on the tumor’s size, where it is, and its symptoms. For those with no symptoms, watching it over time can be good enough. But, sometimes, using lasers, blocking blood flow, or cutting it out are needed. Choosing the right treatment helps each person the best way possible.

Hemangioma in Infants

Finding hemangiomas in babies might worry parents. It’s important to know how to spot these non-cancer lumps. And when to talk to a pediatric skin doctor to handle them well and feel calm.


Identifying infantile hemangiomas early is key. They look like tiny red or blue spots on the skin when babies are very young. Starting at a few weeks old, they appear, growing quickly over the first year.

  • Common sites: face, scalp, back, and chest
  • Appearance: soft, raised, and warm to the touch
  • Color: can range from bright red (superficial) to deep blue (deeper lesions)

When to Seek Medical Advice

Most hemangiomas in babies go away without needing treatment. But, a few might need a doctor’s check. It’s smart to see a pediatric skin specialist if the hemangioma:

  1. Shows rapid and excessive growth
  2. Causes pain, bleeding, or ulceration
  3. Interferes with vital functions (e.g., vision, breathing, feeding)
  4. Appears in high-risk areas such as around the eyes, nose, or mouth

Full advice from pediatric dermatology experts can manage hemangiomas well. They give you peace and recommend action if needed.

Identification When to Seek Medical Advice
Small, red or blue marks within the first few weeks Rapid or excessive growth
Common on the face, scalp, back, and chest Pain, bleeding, or causing ulceration
Soft, raised, warm to the touch Interference with vision, breathing, or feeding
Colors range from bright red to deep blue Located in high-risk areas

Hemangioma Diagnosis

Finding out you have a hemangioma is really important. Doctors need to look closely and use special tests to decide how to treat it. This often means a full check-up and then using machines to see inside you.

Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments:Medical Examination

First, a doctor will give you a close look. They want to see how your hemangioma looks and feels. They will also ask about your and your family’s health. This helps them know if you might have a hemangioma.

Imaging Techniques

Special pictures can help a lot in understanding hemangiomas. Things like ultrasound, MRI, and CT scans show detailed views of the hemangioma. They show its size and how it’s connected to other body parts.

Imaging Technique Accuracy Benefits
Ultrasound High Non-invasive, No radiation
MRI Very High Detailed imaging of soft tissues
CT Scan High Precise detail of small structures

Choosing the right way to take pictures is key in hemangioma diagnosis. Each method has its own strengths. They all help doctors see and understand the hemangioma better.

Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments:Hemangioma Treatment

Dealing with hemangiomas means finding the right hemangioma treatment method, especially if they cause issues or worry about how they look. Laser therapy is a common and effective way. It uses strong light to shrink blood vessel tumors. This method works well for skin-level hemangiomas. Yet, it can take several tries to get the best results.

Medicines that target the whole body can also help a lot. Propranolol is a type of medicine that narrows blood vessels and lessens blood flow. It is good for big or more serious hemangiomas. This type is not easily treated otherwise. It makes the hemangioma smaller and less vivid.Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments

For some hemangiomas, surgery might be the best choice. This is often for those that don’t get better with other treatments. Or, if there’s a chance they may get worse. Surgery removes the hemangioma, especially if it’s inside and near important organs. Deciding the right treatment is key. Work with a healthcare team that knows about hemangiomas. This choice helps the patient have a better future and life.

Hemangioma: Causes & Treatments:FAQ

What is a hemangioma?

A hemangioma is a red lump made of blood vessels. It can show on the skin or inside the body. The lump might start small and get bigger, or change its size slowly.

What causes hemangiomas?

We're not sure what exactly causes hemangiomas. But, they might happen because of certain genes. Also, things in the environment could play a part. Some studies suggest that genes and how the body grows might be linked to them.

How is a hemangioma diagnosed?

Doctors find hemangiomas with exams and pictures from ultrasound or MRI scans. These tests show how big the hemangioma is and where it is. They also check if it's affecting other parts of the body.

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