Hemangiomas are raised birthmarks, normally red, blue or purple. Hemangiomas are clumps of blood vessels that did not grow normally and can appear in all different shapes and sizes over any part of the body. It is important to distinguish a hemangioma from a vascular malformation as this will determine the type of treatment the child might require. Our plastic surgeons can help make this distinction and determine the best course of treatment.


The cause of hemangioma is unknown. Most appear in the first weeks of life. They go through three stages which include: the proliferation phase, the resting phase and the involution phase. Half of all hemangiomas resolve by age 5 years.


The majority of hemangiomas resolve on their own and do not require treatment. Some may require treatment with oral corticosteroids, beta blockers, laser therapy or surgical therapy. This is especially important if the hemangioma affects the child’s vision, breathing or feeding. Your child’s plastic surgeon and/or pediatric dermatologist can help determine which treatment course is best for your child and their condition.