Infantile hemangioma (IH) is a benign vascular tumor of infancy commonly called a “strawberry mark” characterized by excess blood vessel proliferation primarily involving the skin. Also referred to as “capillary hemangioma”, It is the most common benign vascular tumor in infants: it occurs in 3% to 10% of infants under the age of 1 and up to 30% of premature infants.
Infantile hemangioma belongs to the vascular tumor group (classification of vascular anomalies adopted by the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies (ISSVA). The strawberry hemangioma is benign and never metastasizes. IH is distinguished from other vascular malformations, the best-known ones being the birthmark (angioma) or port-wine stain. The main difference lies in the evolution of these pathologies.
The first is a proliferation (growth) phase, with rapid growth of the red birthmark, which begins between the 2nd and 6th week after birth. Proliferation may extend up to the 12th month: 80% of hemangiomas reach their final size in the first 5 months after birth.
The second is an infantile hemangioma stabilization phase of varying duration (12 to 36 months).
The last is a slow and progressive spontaneous regression phase that may last from 3 to 7 years and end with the disappearance of the lesion. In 70% of cases, an infantile hemangioma may leave more or less significant sequelae for patients seen for a specialized consultation. The first signs of regression, particularly for the superficial types of IH, are seen as a change from a bright red birthmark to a pale, even purplish red with the onset of grey/white areas at the center of the lesion. The second signs of regression, for all types of infantile hemangiomas, are softening and reduction.The majority of lesions appear on a visible area of the head or neck.
There are no clearly established causes of infantile hemangiomas. A temporary and localized lack of oxygen, mainly to the skin, seems to be the starting point that results in a strawberry birthmark on a newborn.
The most common hemangioma risk factors are:
Infantile hemangiomas have common features: they are firm, slightly warm to the touch and generally painless (except in the case of ulceration).
Photos of hemangioma on babies are presented as examples and do not enable a diagnosis to be established.
Photos of hemangiomas are presented as examples and do not enable a diagnosis to be established.
This short video by FRAME, a web-based educational library explains how families can cope with Infantile Hemangiomas. FRAME is created by Positive Exposure, an organization that changes how medical information is presented to health care professionals in training, clinicians, families, and communities.
For more information about FRAME & Positive Exposure, please visit the website: https://positiveexposure.org