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What are Hemangiomas, Why do they Occur?

There are a variety of types of hemangiomas, and they are the most common head and neck lesions to affect children. One in ten babies will develop a hemangioma. These lesions show on infants just a couple of weeks after their birth and are caused by many tiny blood vessels bunched together that may continue to grow up until 12 months of age. Hemangiomas are usually around the head and neck region. Those near important structures like the eyes require medical, and sometimes laser or surgical, intervention.

Hemangiomas can also form under the surface skin or on an internal organ; however, they typically appear on top of the skin. Hemangiomas are usually benign, and sometimes disappear by themselves. However, some hemangiomas can cause severe skin damage and even worse health problems, depending on where they are located in the body and their size.

It is not yet known exactly what causes hemangiomas to occur. Some studies indicate that estrogen may be a factor; however, the precise cause of hemangioma proliferation is still the subject of research.

Dr. Paul M. Friedman can examine you for hemangiomas, birthmarks, and other skin conditions at our Houston, Texas or New York-area practice and help you come up with a treatment plan. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Our Patients’ Results

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*Individual Results May Vary

Macular Stains (Salmon Patches)

These skin stains are very thin, light pink in color and flat. Macular stains are usually found on babies’ necks or upper eyelids. The patches on the eyelids often disappear during the first year, after the child’s birth, but the ones on the neck often do not disappear.

Capillary Vascular Malformations

These malformations are caused by blood vessels’ abnormal development. They are always present at birth. One example of a capillary vascular malformation is called a port wine stain. They are red or purple areas that can occur anywhere, but often on the face. These malformations, unfortunately, do not fade or go away, and, in fact, they usually grow deeper and thicker with time making treatment more difficult. It is best to initiate laser treatment early on, as early as three weeks of age. If they are located around the eye they can be associated with brain or eye abnormalities.

Treatment Options

Lasers can be successfully used to treat a variety of birthmarks. Even some of the most complex birthmarks can now be treated with minimal risk of scarring. If you or a loved one suffer from any of these conditions, please contact us today.