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Infantile Hemangioma


An infantile hemangioma (IH)

is a common growth found on an infant's skin. It usually appears 1 to 2 months after birth. The cause of an IH is unknown. An IH may happen when blood vessels grow together in one area of your infant's skin. Your infant may be at risk for an IH if he or she was born early or had a low birth weight. Your infant may also be at risk for an IH if he or she has a family member with an IH. Most hemangiomas are harmless and get better without treatment.

Signs and symptoms of an IH:

An IH on the surface of your infant's skin may look red and feel raised or rough. An IH that is deeper in your infant's skin may feel flat and look purple, gray, or blue. An IH may appear anywhere on your infant's body, but is most common on the head, face, neck, or chest. Your infant may have 1 or more hemangiomas on his or her skin. An IH may grow quickly during the first 6 months of your infant's life. After this time, an IH usually begins to shrink, flatten, and fade in color.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Your child has trouble breathing.

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your infant has a fever.
  • Your infant's IH is bleeding.
  • Your infant has a new IH on or near his or her eye, mouth, rectum, penis, or vagina.
  • Your infant's IH changes in color or looks crusty.
  • Your infant has trouble eating or swallowing because of the IH.
  • Your infant cries more than usual.
  • Your infant's IH is draining pus or looks more swollen.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Treatment for your infant's IH

usually involves waiting for it to go away on its own. Most hemangiomas will shrink and disappear without treatment before your child is 5 to 9 years of age. If your infant's IH prevents him or her from eating, breathing, hearing, or seeing, it will be removed. The IH may be removed if it becomes an open sore, infected, or bleeds heavily. The IH may also be removed if it becomes an open sore, infected, or bleeds heavily. Medicines, laser therapy, or surgery may be used to shrink or remove the IH.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.