Hemangiomas appear on a child’s skin after several weeks of their birth in the form of rubbery, bumpy red patches and sometimes also resemble deep bruises. They are clusters of extra blood vessels. Around 5-10 percent of babies have hemangiomas. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) guidelines say it’s crucial to begin monitoring infantile hemangiomas right after they appear – when they tend to change the most.
Does your baby’s skin suddenly start showing a bright red mole, and you can’t seem to identify how or when it appeared?
The bright red mole is known as Infantile Hemangiomas in medical terms or commonly called ‘strawberry patches,’ to answer your burning question. Generally appearing after several weeks of your baby’s birth, about which let me give you the information you definitely need to know!
Usually non-cancerous in nature, they tend to disappear entirely around age 10.
But there are still things that you should be knowledgeable about and have up-to-date information about hemangiomas. Let’s take a look into it, and hopefully, most of your questions would be answered as well.
How does the bright red mole appear?
The bright red mole or Infantile Hemangiomas forms when there is an abnormal proliferation of blood vessels in one body area.
Experts believe it’s caused by specific proteins produced in the placenta during gestation (the time when your baby is in your womb).
They can appear anywhere, although the most common locations are:
They might start off as patches or birthmarks, bright red in color, so it is essential to monitor them daily to see if there is any change.
When you look closely, you should be able to see it as a cluster of blood vessels, and when you do, that’s how you recognize it as hemangiomas.
Types of Hemangiomas on your baby’s skin
A hemangioma, starting as a bright red birthmark, can also develop into something serious if ignored and not monitored every couple of days.
Appearing as a birthmark when your little one turns a month old, it goes through a period of growth.
It is most common in Caucasians, girls, twins, and preterm or low-birth-weight babies. Hemangiomas can be identified in 3 forms as superficial, deep, or combined.
It is the last one to be worried about, as it is basically identified as birthmarks or strawberry patches on the skin of your little one.
Starting as a birthmark in the first place, sometimes, depending on the baby, it doesn’t develop any further. They might be pink or red in color. They may focus on one area or spread out a little.
It grows further in the skin, forming under the skin. Deep hemangioma may appear to have blueish pink or purple color in nature. Some cause skin to be swollen.
They are a mixture of superficial and deep hemangioma.
What causes the bright red mole on your child’s skin?
Although it appears to be a cluster of blood vessels that causes hemangioma, there are rare cases where it is found that genetics play a role in it.
For most babies, by about 3 months of age, the infantile hemangioma will be at 80 percent of its maximum size.
How to treat the bright red mole?
As long as it’s of superficial nature and stays like that, then it starts fading away by the time your child turns 4 or 5 in age and disappears gradually.
At this stage, it doesn’t require any treatment. However, there are cases when it’s a deep or mixed hemangioma, then you need to visit your doctor as it might be disrupting their breathing or sight.
Your healthcare provider can quickly diagnose the type of hemangioma it is just by looking at it closely. Another necessary testing is done, including blood tests or skin biopsy, when a small piece of skin is removed for testing.
An MRI or CT is also done to examine how deep the hemangioma actually is. This allows the healthcare provider to review the current condition and see how it affects the surrounding area.
A Doppler ultrasound is used to see how blood flows through a hemangioma and helps to know if it is shrinking, resting, or growing.
For superficial hemangioma
- Oral propranolol is suggested as a primary line of defense against hemangioma.
- Beta-blockers, such as timolol gel, can also be used to treat superficial hemangioma.
This is injected into the hemangioma to reduce its growth and to stop inflammation.
People generally go for this if the hemangioma is just on a superficial level, just on the skin, and doesn’t have internal growth.
When the mark is on the child’s face or a part where they want to get it removed from, laser treatment is opted for in such cases to reduce redness and improve appearance.
A medicated gel is also suggested by doctors called becaplermin but is expensive. It is used to treat chronically ulcerated hemangiomas. But it also carries the risk of developing cancer in people who receive it repeatedly.
So have a talk with your doctor before jumping into it and know about all the pros and cons.
All these treatments mentioned above are not to be considered without consulting your healthcare provider or your family doctor.
Do take into consideration the pros and cons before jumping into it blindly. Make an educated decision.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do hemangiomas hurt?
If not monitored correctly and ignored, then it might develop or grow into a deep hemangioma. This causes muscle pain and the area around it, which will swell up, causing difficulty in day-to-day activities.
Can hemangioma spread?
A hemangioma might appear as a small bright red mole or small bright red spots in one area and don’t spread to other areas or people.
Are red moles cancerous?
Hemangiomas are just an overgrowth of blood vessels. Although they might look like a mole, they do not have the potential to transform into skin cancer or any other medical condition.
When should I be concerned about a mole on my child?
If your child has a raised mole or in a dome shape growth with different colors, it should be examined by the doctor. If the mole is itching or bleeding or gets injured, then get it checked as soon as possible.
The bright red mole that you see on your child’s body can be called hemangioma or strawberry patches too. It is nothing but a cluster of blood vessels that sometimes occur due to rare genetic issues.
Appearing on places like the face, back, or scalp, it can be categorized into three types such as superficial, deep, or mixed hemangioma. Although it is nothing to be worried about if all it remains is a red birthmark as it disappears gradually when your child turns 5 years old, it creates issues when it grows further.
As we went into different kinds of treatments available for a deeper growth of hemangioma, hopefully, you have a piece of knowledge about how things will further develop with your healthcare provider.
There is nothing to be worried about as it is non-cancerous in nature. Just keep checking up on it when it appears in the form of a birthmark, and everything else would be fine.