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Infantile Hemangiomas: About Strawberry Baby Birthmarks(Part3)

What kinds of treatments are available for hemangiomas?

If a baby’s hemangioma risks causing problems, medications can be applied directly to the skin or taken by mouth. The goal is to keep them from getting any bigger during their period of rapid growth, or to make them shrink more quickly. Laser procedures or surgery may be an option in some cases, although it generally is avoided during early infancy to avoid increased anesthesia risks.


Systemic treatments

  • Propranolol, a beta blocker medication used for many years to treat high blood pressure, is now commonly given by mouth as an effective treatment for problem hemangiomas. To avoid a growth rebound, the pediatrician may recommend therapy continue until your child’s first birthday. The drug must be used with close observation by your healthcare provider to watch for possible side effects and complications.
  • Oral steroidshave been largely replaced by safer and more effective options, but are still used in select cases, determined by the healthcare provider.


Localized treatments

  • Topical medications applied directly on the skin may be used for small, superficial hemangiomas. Prescription creams or ointments containing beta-blockers are the most effective topical treatment option to help stop growth and sometimes shrink and fade hemangiomas. In some cases, steroid creams may be prescribed for smaller, thinner hemangiomas.
  • Steroid injections can be given directly into the hemangioma to help slow its growth.This works best for smaller, localized hemangiomas.


Other treatments

  • Surgeryis usually only considered for smaller hemangiomas in areas where they may cause problems, or for small hemangiomas with broken skin. Because surgery will always leave a scar itself–and because most hemangiomas get better with time–early surgery is only recommended for a small minority of cases. Surgery can also repair extra skin or scars left by a hemangioma, but usually is delayed until a child is between 3 and 5 years old.


  • Laser treatment may be helpful in some cases to stop bleeding or to help heal hemangiomas with open sores (ulcers). They can also help to remove some of the redness or texture changes that may be left behind after the hemangioma improves.



Contact your pediatrician if you notice anything developing on your baby’s skin. Your baby’s first few well-child visits are also a great time to bring it up. Few hemangiomas cause any trouble, and most go away on their own. But prompt evaluation, monitoring and treatment, when needed, can help ensure problem hemangiomas have as little impact as possible on your child.


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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