Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumors of infancy. They are composed of an abnormal collection of extra blood vessels in the skin or internal organs. Hemangiomas (infantile hemangomas or hemangiomas of infancy) can appear as a bright red patch on the skin and have been referred to as "strawberry hemangiomas" in the past. Others can grown in internal organs such as the liver or larynx.
Hemangiomas usually first appear in the first few weeks of life and are usually diagnosed clinically.
Some hemangiomas are small and require no treatment. They are allowed to run their natural course and disappear over time (usually by 10 years of age). Some hemangiomascan cause life-threatening problems based on their size and location (head and neck). Many facial hemangiomas will require treatment to prevent later disfiguration. Problematic hemangiomas are treated very effectively with a medicine called Propranolol. Other treatment options include topical propranolol-like gel, steroids, vincristine and laser treatments. Reconstructive surgery is often necessary for facial and/or large hemangiomas after involution.