Hemangioma (in children)

Hemangiomas in child age are benign lesions which originate from the skin blood vessels.

Sinonimi: Cavernous hemangiomaStrawberry nevusHaemangioma


How does it develop?

It develops by multiplication of cells that line the inside of the blood vessels (endothelial cells). This multiplication can develop under the influence of hormones, cell growth factors, mechanical stimuli but also under a relative lack of oxygen at some point during pregnancy.

Symptoms and signs

Hemangiomas appear as red lesions on the skin, varying in shape and sizes. They usually occur on the head and neck, but they can be found on any part of the body. They can be level with the skin, or elevated. They appear in both sexes equally. They don’t hurt and they are rarely a cause of functional impairment. Most often they present an esthetically-social problem for the child, as for the parents.

The majority of them gradually disappear during early childhood, especially those flush with the skin. Others, yet remain for the lifetime.

How is it diagnosed?

By clinical examination and palpation of the lesion, other diagnostic procedures like utrasound, magnetic resonance, CAT, or biopsy are rarely needed.

How is it removed?

The decision to remove them should not be made hastily, some of them do tend to go away by themselves during early childhood, so a wait may be worthwhile.

For those that do not disappear by themselves, there are treatments that can significantly reduce them, and even completely erradicate some of them.

1.Non-surgical treatment: corticosteroids, interferon Alfa, propranolol…

2. Surgical treatment – Laser

Risk factors and prevention

It is considered that they can be genetics related.

There are no known prevention options.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to remove it?

No, we remove only those hemangiomas that are often injured or that present as an esthetic problem.

In injuring an angioma dangerous?

No, injuring it can only cause bleeding from this skin lesion. Any bleeding of this kind can easily be stopped by applying pressure to the bleeding spot for 5 to 10 minutes.

What is the best way to remove angiomas?

A vascular laser is the simplest, most effective way to remove this kind of skin lesions.

Learn more

Synonyms: Juvenile HemangiomaStrawberry nevus

We notice them as red lesions on the skin, varying in size and shape. They occur very soon after birth. They occur in 2% of newborns, both sexes affected. They most commonly appear on the head and neck (about 80%). They reach maximum in size after 3 to 5 months, extremely rarely they can grow to 18 months of age. After the growth arrests, a process of involution or regression takes place (partial to complete disappearing). This process takes from 3 to 10 years. Almost all hemangiomas level to the skin go away with no treatment required. However, elevated hemangiomas, do not completely regress.


Reasons for formation

They reason why they form is still unknown. It is presumed that growth factors, hormonal activity and even mechanical factors can cause them to form. There is also a possibility of certain pregnancy or birth factors influencing, but those factors are not to date confirmed as culprits.

Symptoms and signs

They usually appear as soon as the first few weeks after birth, as red, either level or elevated, lesions on the skin. Their size varies from a few mm to over 10cm. Hemangiomas don’t hurt and very rarely cause any functional issues. Since they most commonly appear on the face and neck, they present an esthetical-social issue, firstly for the parents, secondly, during life, for the child itself, if they don’t resolve by themselves or get removed.

Types of hemangiomas in children

There are two main divisions of hemangiomas: depth-wise and size-wise.

According to the depth, hemangiomas in children can be:

  • Superficial (capillary)
    Blood vessels in the upper part of the skin are dilatated. They are commonly known as::

    • capillary haemangioma,
    • capillary naevus,
    • strawberry haemangioma or strawberry naevus,
    • haemangioma simplex
  • Deep (cavernous)
    They are situated in deeper layers of the skin, and in contrast to superficial ones, they are bluish, soft and look like swelling..
  • Mixed
    both of the previous types are presented in one place.

According to the size (skin segment affected) hemangiomas can be:

  • Localized
    – These are usually small in size, and go into full regression
  • Segmental
    They present a significant problem, because:

    • They grow up to 10 times the size of localized ones.
    • n time, they present a major esthetical-social problem.
    • They are commonly associated with other congenital anomalies of the head (posterior fossa abnormality), heart, eye and blood vessels.
    • It is of special importance to consider the conjoined appearance of pelvic and genitourinary region hemangiomas with malformations in the same area.

How is it diagnosed?

The diagnosis can often be made based on the appearance of the lesion itself (by eye) and on the information provided from palpation. Ultrasound, CT, MRI or biopsy are rarely necessary..


Bleeding is a complication that usually occurs by injury. However, infection can form, and very rarely other skin cancers can develop on the grounds of hemangiomas.


As hemangiomas in children tend to disappear either partially or completely, their treatment should be considered and applied on:

  • Large prominent hemangiomas
  • Hemangiomas with an ulceration (wound)
  • Hemangiomas that compromise breathing, feeding, eye sight or hearing
  • Hemangiomas that reside until school age

Possible treatments are:

Non-surgical treatments

  • External compression
  • High potency topical corticosteroids
  • High dose oral corticosteroids.
  • Interferon alfa.
  • Imiquimod
  • Propranolol

Surgical treatments

  • Vaskularni laseri
    The best time is between age 3 and 4, when the hemangioma is completely stabile. Of course, the treatment can be done later on. There are multiple recommended lasers, firstly: frequency-doubled Nd-YAG , pulse dye lasers (PDL), copper bromide, Krypton, KTP lasers and intense pulsed light (IPL) systems

Risk factors

There are no specific risk factors. They often appear in children whose parents had a history of hemangioma.


There is no specific prevention.