What is hemangioma on the skin?
Hemangioma of the skin is a benign, or an abnormal growth of blood vessels on one area of the skin or under the skin surface. Although it is called “tumor”, this growth is noncancerous. The size of hemangioma is usually small, at first it appears as a small or red scratches and people may think that it is only a birthmark, but after that the benign can grow rapidly and protrude from the skin. The common spots for hemangioma growth are face, scalp, chest, back, neck, behind the ears and on the other areas. Usually hemangioma is appeared in babies and children, and it will shrink on its own over time.
Does the hemangioma hurt? Although some hemangiomas look painful ( may be after look at its bright-red color), parents do not have to worry about it. It will not hurt except the skin are broken down, cut or injured. In those cases, the benign may bleed and hurt, and if the injury is not treated it will lead to an infection and scarring.
The symptoms and types of hemangioma on skin
The common symptoms of a hemangioma is it appears in as a raised tumor on the skin. About the color, the deeper a hemangioma on one’s skin, the darker its color.
Hemangioma can be distinguished into three types based on its growth on the skin itself, and the symptoms are different :
- Superficial hemangioma
This type also known as “capillary” or “strawberry hemangioma”, which refers to its look. The superficial hemangioma appears in deep red or bright red patch on the skin. Usually, it will fade if a child has been in age seven.
- Deep hemangioma
This one grows deeper in the skin and has a bruise-like color. Unlike the superficial hemangioma, this one are rarely can be diagnosed until it protrudes from the skin when the baby is at his two or four months.
- Congenital hemangioma
Congenital hemangioma presents at birth. It may has a large size and sometime there is a pale circle around the area.
This congenital hemangioma are dividen into two types :
- NICH (Non Involuting Congenital Hemangioma), it appears in its full form and does not shrink over time.
- RICH (Rapidly Involuting Congenital Hemangioma), it also appears in its full form but unlike NICH, it will shrink within or after the baby reaches age one.
Causes and who is at the risk of having hemangiomas
Now, we move to the causes of this build up benign. An hemangioma appears when too many blood vessels grow together in one area of the skin. Many studies have been conducted to know what exactly the causes of hemangiomas are or why those blood vessels group together, but the results did not show even one true cause beside the several speculations with pros and contras. One of the speculation is it is caused by a certain protein which is produced in the placenta when the baby is in womb). Yet it does not mean that those studies result in nothing. Although the cause still be a mystery, now the researchers have found some risk factors of hemangioma that show hemangiomas are common among :
- premature baby
- white or caucasian infants
Does hemangioma affect elderly?
We have seen this far that hemangioma are common in infants, but it does not mean the elderly or adults can be the exceptions. Those who are in age 40 have a risk to develop hemangioma, and when a person reaches his or her 70 years old, the frequency will increase. Usually, the hemangioma in adults appear in a small size but grow in groups, as the result it may look larger than the hemangioma in babies and children.
How to reduce the chances
Now we have this question, how to reduce the chances of having hemangioma on the skin? Unfortunately, there is no way to reduce the risk, since the causes are still not found yet. But there are some treatment to help parents whose babies have hemangiomas or adults who have hemangiomas get rid from the tumors.
It has been mentioned at the beginning of this discussion that hemangiomas will shrink over time during childhood even if they are not treated, but many parents and people may want to remove the benign for cosmetic or the other reasons. Here are several available treatments for hemangiomas :
- Beta Blocker Drug
A direct application of a gel with the drug timolol to the skin may help to disappear a small hemangioma, or you can apply oral solution of propranolol. Be careful for the side effects, and consult to your doctor for any recommendation.
- Corticosteroid medication
This can be apply through an injection, by mouth or direct application onto the affected skin. The side effect is poor growth of your children.
- Laser surgery
This surgery is done to remove the hemangiomas. The laser will destroy the abnormal blood vessels only. But it also has side effects such as bleeding, scarring, and infection. A person who wants to take this surgery is highly recommended to consult to the medical providers for the further information.