What to do with a Strawberry Hemangioma

My two month old daughter has a strawberry hemangioma that’s getting bigger. The pediatrician says I don’t need to do anything. Is that right?

I can’t say for certain without seeing it, but most of the time strawberry hemagiomas can be safely watched until they go away on their own.

A hemangioma is benign mass of tissue made of blood vessels. It is not cancerous, and doesn’t turn into cancer. The most common kind, called a “strawberry hemangioma,” appears shortly after birth as at first a flat, bright pink area. Over the next several months, it grows bigger and thicker, and sticks out. Between 9 and 12 months of age, they usually start to scar down, becoming more white than red. Eventually, only a flat pale or thick-feeling scar is left behind. As long as this kind of hemangioma is not on a cosmetically critical area, parents can just leave these alone until they scar down and become less noticeable.

Strawberry hemagiomas do require treatment if they are cosmetically unacceptable (say, on the nose), if they block vision out of one or both eyes, or if they bleed a lot. Rarely, hemangiomas can occur in the throat or airway, which would require intervention. Treatment is usually with lasers, and is usually undertaken with the help of a pediatric plastic surgeon.

There are many other kinds of hemangiomas. The deeper, blue-looking ones are often made of vein material. Depending on their location, they may or may not require therapy. Port-wine stains are flat, red-to-purple areas that are present at birth and often involve the face. These will need to be evaluated and treated to minimize their appearance.

Pediatricians can readily identify and give advice on most hemagiomas, including the ordinary, benign strawberries. But you’ll want to take your child to a specialist if your child has a large, disfiguring, or more unusual kind of hemangioma. A plastic surgeon or dermatologist, especially one associated with a university teaching hospital, would be your best bet.

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13 Comments on “What to do with a Strawberry Hemangioma”

  1. amana Says:

    my baby has a hemangioma prob near eye

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  2. Dr. Roy Says:

    Amana, a hemangioma near an eye may require more aggressive therapy, especially if it blocks vision. You may need to have your child examined by a pediatric opthalmologist to determine if the hemangioma is a problem.

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  3. Niki Says:

    I am 15 and I have this on my tummy and on my shoulder do you ever think it will ever go away ?

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  4. Dr. Roy Says:

    Niki, at your age a hemangioma is unlikely to go away. If it bothers you, you can visit with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to talk about treatment options.

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  5. paige Says:

    my baby has one with black spots starting to appear in it, what does that mean?

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  6. Valerie Says:

    My 1-month old has two on his back. One of those is over his spine. Should I be worried?

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  7. Dr. Roy Says:

    Paige and Valerie, your babies should be examined by a pediatrician at their next regularly scheduled well visit to help decide what, if anything, needs to be done next.

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  8. Francine Beeker Says:

    hi my boy just turn 1 year old.he has this strawberry hemangioma on his forehead since he was born.everyone was like asking me how and why this thing occurred.sometimes i ran away from the public because i hate it so much when they started to questions me about my boy.he has been wearing cap / hat when everytime we wanted to bring him out even when he is at home and our relatives came for visiting.when will this mark be gone?

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  9. Dr. Roy Says:

    Francine, I can’t tell you exactly when your son’s hemangioma will go away, but typically by 9-15 months they’re starting to fade. If it isn’t, you’ll want to bring this up with your pediatrician. Best of luck!

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  10. Ashley Says:

    My daughter was born with a whitesh area near the eye then about a week later it become pink in color my physican said it was a stork bite then when she had her 2month check up I was told it was a strawberry Hemangioma, and now she has one underneath her lip as well, its very frustrating as a mother to be told many diff things as this doesnt bother me I dont want other people to tease her about this, I have read several stories on the net about steroid treatment and laser. She is now 3 months old and it is still very red but is flat not raised like the ones ive seen, what woulld u recommend doing?

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  11. Dr. Roy Says:

    Ashley, I can’t say for sure without examining your daughter, but you may want to ask for a second opinion from a dermatologist or plastic surgeon.

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  12. Fajer faisal Says:

    Hi dr… My baby boy have a raised strawberry hemongioma in front of hes head it become bigger than first time it was appear when he was 1 month now hes 5 and there is somethings like bubbles red on top of it ? What to do ?

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  13. Dr. Roy Says:

    Fajer, as with all of these other comments, I can’t give specific advice without examining your child. See your pediatrician, a dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon.

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