Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions

Picture of Hemangioma After Laser Treatment

Picture of Hemangioma after Laser Treatment

There is a marked lightening and flattening of the hemangioma after multiple pulsed dye laser treatments.

Hemangiomas are caused by many tiny blood vessels bunched together and vary in severity. Typically, this birthmark can be just that, a mark, or it can grow larger and larger until treated. Hemangiomas can grow very rapidly through the first year of a child's life.

Most hemangiomas will go away on their own; roughly 50% resolve by age five, 70% by age seven and 90% by age nine.

Reasons to treat hemangioma include problems with functions (such as sight, eating, hearing or defecation), ulceration or pain. Hemangiomas can be treated in different ways, each of which carries its own risks.

Corticosteroid medication, which can be injected or taken orally, is one option for treating hemangiomas. Risks associated with corticosteroid medication include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor growth, or cataracts. If corticosteroids fail, there are other medications that may be an option.

Certain hemangiomas can also be treated with lasers to stop them from growing. Risks associated with that treatment include ulceration and scarring.

In some cases, a hemangioma can also be removed with surgery. Other times, a combination of these approaches is the most beneficial treatment.

Image Source: Color Atlas of Cosmetic Dermatology Marc R. Avram, Sandy Tsao, Zeina Tannous, Mathew M. Avram Copyright 2007 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.