Hemangiomas are benign growths of blood vessels that are very common in children. Though called "birthmarks" they often do not become noticeable until a few days to weeks after birth. Hemangiomas grow in size for about 6-12 months, then shrink or "involute" over a period of years.
Most hemangiomas do not cause problems and thus do not need treatment. Sometimes however, hemangiomas may cause ulceration (when a painful sore develops on the hemangioma), block an important organ such as the eye, grow very rapidly, or be of cosmetic concern to the child and/or family. Our pediatric dermatologists specialize in those complications, when treatment may be needed.