Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments

Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments Hemangiomas are often found in infants and young kids. They look like bright red tumors because of too many blood vessels. We know a lot about them now, including how to treat them best.

The exact cause of hemangiomas is not fully known. But, we do know that genes and the environment play a part. Thanks to ongoing research, we are learning more about these issues every day. This helps us find better ways to treat hemangiomas.

Treatment for hemangiomas has come a long way. Now, we have many ways to help, from medicine to surgery and lasers. Doctors can pick the best treatment for each patient. This makes things better for those with hemangiomas.


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What are Hemangiomas?

Hemangiomas are benign tumors seen mostly as vascular lesions on the skin. They are extra growths of blood vessels that are not cancerous. These growths show up as a birthmark-like spot which looks red or purple.

Most of the time, they’re not harmful. But sometimes, they might need a doctor’s care. This could be if they are affecting important body parts or don’t look good.

Hemangiomas come in different types, each with its own features.


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Type Characteristics
Infantile Hemangiomas Common in babies, these come out in the first weeks of life.
Congenital Hemangiomas These are there from birth and may get smaller or stay the same over time.

They’re mostly found in babies and little kids. Around 5-10% of babies have these, and more are seen in those born early or very small.

Common Causes of Hemangiomas

Hemangiomas are common in kids and are tumors mainly made of blood vessels. They come from a mix of things like our genes, what’s around us, and hormones. Let’s explore these causes in depth.

Genetic Factors

Some families might see more hemangiomas due to their health history. This is because data shows a link between genes and these little growths. Knowing about genetic twists helps us understand them better.

Environmental Influences

What we’re around impacts hemangiomas too. Bad stuff in the air or some medicines can up a baby’s risk. So, mom avoiding harsh chemicals is a good idea.

Hormonal Changes

Changes in our hormones, especially during pregnancy or baby’s early months, can also affect. A lot of estrogen may make these tumors grow faster. This often shows up in newly born babies.

Symptoms of Hemangiomas

When you look for hemangiomas, it’s key to know what they look like. These growths are bright red and feel soft. They can be found on different body parts. They might grow fast at first but then slowly stop or even get smaller.

Hemangiomas may appear on the scalp, face, and back. Most are on the skin, but some are deeper inside. Ultrasound or MRI can find those hidden ones.

Hemangiomas change in clear stages. First, they grow fast. Then, they get smaller and lose their red look. By 5-10 years old, many will have gone away.

Hemangioma Phase Duration Characteristics
Proliferative Phase 1-12 months Rapid growth, bright red color, raised surface
Involutive Phase 1-10 years Decreasing size, fading color, flattening surface

Parents should watch for any big changes in hemangiomas. Talk to a doctor if they grow fast, bleed, or cause problems. Getting early advice is important for proper care.

Hemangiomas in Children

Hemangiomas are commonly found in kids. They are often seen during the first year of life. It’s key to know about and how to treat these red growths for good care.

Infantile Hemangiomas

Many babies get these growths soon after being born. They look like red lumps and can be small or big. Most are not a big problem and will get smaller as the child grows. But, some need a doctor’s help.

Diagnosis in Pediatrics

It’s important for doctors to spot hemangiomas early. They use what they see and sometimes special pictures of the inside of the body. Finding them soon helps to stop any possible problems.

Treatment Options

Treating them can mean just watching or sometimes needing more. Small ones might just need to be checked as they usually go away. But, for the bigger ones, there might be pills, laser zaps, or even cutting them out. What to do depends on their size, where they are, and how the child is feeling.

Treatment Method Indications Advantages Considerations
Observation Minor, non-complicated hemangiomas Non-invasive, no side effects Requires regular monitoring
Systemic Medications Moderate to severe cases Effective in shrinking hemangiomas Possible side effects, requires medical supervision
Laser Therapy Surface hemangiomas, cosmetic concerns Minimally invasive, targeted treatment Multiple sessions may be needed
Surgery Large or complicated hemangiomas Definitive removal Invasive, risk of scarring

Hemangiomas in Adults

Hemangiomas in adults, though not as common as in kids, have their own features. They’re usually found during check-ups or when looking at other health problems. Unlike in kids, they may not be easy to see because they are deeper.

How we deal with adult hemangiomas is very different from kids. Doctors look at many things to find the best way to treat them. Things like where it is and if it causes health issues matter a lot.

Adults might just need to watch their hemangioma closely. Or doctors might try medicine. Sometimes, surgery is the best choice. Picking the right treatment can stop bad things from happening, like sores or problems with how the body works.

Now, let’s talk about treating kids versus treating adults for hemangiomas:

Aspect Pediatric Hemangiomas Adult Hemangiomas
Prevalence High Low
Location Often visible on skin, face, and scalp More often deep tissues, internal organs
Diagnosis Early identification via physical examination Often incidental during exams for other issues
Treatment Primarily non-invasive, medical management Varies; can include monitoring, medical therapy, surgical options

Considering these differences, healthcare teams can make plans that fit each adult patient. This makes sure adults with hemangiomas get the care they need. So, their lives and health can be better.

Hemangioma Treatment Options

Treatments for hemangiomas depend on size, place, and if they cause issues. We will look at how doctors help people with these birthmarks.

Medical Management

Doctors often start with medicines for hemangiomas. Beta-blockers are common, reducing their size. Corticosteroids, another type of medicine, might also help. This is when beta-blockers can’t be used or don’t work well.

Surgical Interventions

If medicines don’t work, surgery may be needed. Known as surgical excision, this is for big, troubling, or unresponsive hemangiomas. Doctors carefully remove it to lower scars and maintain looks.

Laser Treatments

Lately, laser therapy has become popular for hemangiomas. It’s great for those at the skin’s surface or with big blood vessel parts. Laser therapy for hemangiomas uses light to shrink bad blood vessels inside. This usually means less scarring and a faster getting better time.

Treatment Method Suitable For Pros Cons
Medical Management Smaller, less complicated hemangiomas Non-invasive, effective in many cases May require long-term medication use
Surgical Excision Large, complicated hemangiomas Definitive removal, immediate results Invasive, risk of scarring and complications
Laser Therapy Superficial and vascular hemangiomas Minimally invasive, reduced scarring May require multiple sessions

Hemangioma Medical Management

Systemic medication is key in treating hemangiomas without surgery. It often uses corticosteroids and beta-blockers. These help make the growths smaller and less harmful.

Corticosteroids are great for hemangiomas because they lower swelling and decrease blood vessel sizes. But, they can lead to weight gain and high blood pressure. Sometimes, they lower the body’s ability to fight sickness.

Beta-blocker treatment is a younger but effective way to manage these growths. For example, propranolol has been good at stopping hemangiomas from growing too much. These medicines help by making blood vessels smaller and reducing blood flow. This makes the hemangiomas smaller. Even though they mostly work well, they can cause low blood pressure, slow heart rate, or trouble sleeping.

The choice between corticosteroids and beta-blockers depends on the patient. Doctors look at the hemangioma’s type and the patient’s health. Both ways can help without surgery. But, the doctor needs to check on the patient to make sure they’re doing well.

Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments:Surgical Options for Hemangiomas

Removing a hemangioma is considered when it causes issues like ulcers or bleeding. Surgery can quickly solve these problems, especially if other treatments don’t work.

When thinking about surgical removal risks, it’s important to know about infections and scars. Surgeons work hard to avoid these issues. They talk to patients to help them understand what might happen.

If a big hemangioma is taken out, sometimes reconstructive surgery is needed. This helps the area look and work better. There are different methods, like closing the skin or using skin from another spot.

The needs for surgery and what it involves are listed in the table below:

Procedure Description Potential Risks
Simple Excision Removal of the hemangioma with minimal surrounding tissue Infection, bleeding, recurrence
Extended Excision Removal of hemangioma with more extensive surrounding tissue Increased scarring, prolonged recovery
Reconstructive Surgery Techniques like skin grafts or flaps post-excision Graft failure, aesthetic dissatisfaction

Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments:Laser Treatment for Hemangiomas

Laser therapy is a top choice for treating hemangiomas on the skin. The pulsed dye laser is very effective. It works by sending special light right onto the blood vessels. This makes them shrink and go away, without hurting the skin around them.

The pulsed dye laser is great because it leaves almost no scars. This is super important for hemangiomas on the face or neck. People like it because it’s not like surgery. It means less time getting better. So, it helps a lot, whether you care about how things look or how they feel.Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments

Not every hemangioma can be treated with a laser the same way. If it’s close to the skin, lasers tend to work really well. But for deeper ones, you might need more than just the laser. Yet, lasers are getting better all the time. They keep becoming a go-to choice for those who want a gentle treatment.

Hemangiomas: Causes & Treatments:FAQ

What are hemangiomas?

Hemangiomas are not cancer. They look like red birthmarks. They happen a lot in babies and kids.

What causes hemangiomas?

They can be because of genes, things in the environment when moms are pregnant, and hormone changes when babies are growing. Some families and people from certain parts of the world might have them more often.

What are the symptoms of hemangiomas?

Signs are red or purple spots on the skin. They can get bigger and sometimes hurt or cause problems. Most are on the head and neck.


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