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Infantile Hemangiomas: About Strawberry Baby Birthmarks(Part1)

Hemangiomas are clusters of extra blood vessels on a baby’s skin. They may be there when a baby is born, or form within a few weeks or months of birth. Some may look like rubbery, bumpy red “strawberry” patches while others resemble deep bruises. Seeing a hemangioma develop can be worrisome for new parents.


The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines say it’s important to identify and begin monitoring infantile hemangiomas right after they appear―when they tend to change most quickly.


While hemangiomas can vary a lot in size, appearance, and placement, they are universally benign (non-cancerous). Most will go away on their own without causing any problems. Some hemangiomas―particularly those on the face or those that are very large―need treatment early to prevent them from interfering with body functions or causing permanent scars. Thankfully, there are excellent treatments available today to can prevent these problems if treated early on.


About Infantile Hemangiomas:

Infantile hemangiomas appear after a baby is born, typically within a month. Roughly 4% to 5% of all infants get them, although they are more common in Caucasians, girls, twins, and preterm or low-birth-weight babies. Infantile hemangiomas typically go through a period of rapid growth, followed by more gradual fading and flattening.


There are different types of infantile hemangiomas:

  • Superficial hemangiomashave been called “strawberry marks,” because they can resemble the surface of berries. They may begin as small white, pink, or red areas on the skin that quickly change into brighter red, raised lesions. Superficial hemangiomas may be focused in one spot or spread out over a larger area.
  • Deep hemangiomashave a smooth surface and form under the skin. They may have a bluish tint and resemble bruises. Some cause the skin to look swollen.
  • Mixed hemangiomas are a combination of superficial and deep growths.


Are there other birthmarks like it?

Some of the other marks that can show up on a baby’s skin include port wine stains and “stork bites.” These also are caused when more blood than usual floods the capillaries under the skin. Port wine stains turn a reddish-purple and are often permanent; like hemangiomas, stork bites usually disappear, but can remain if they’re on the back of the neck.


Last Updated 12/24/2018

Source American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2018)

The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.


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