When you saw that your baby had a birthmark, you may have been concerned. But rest assured that birthmarks are very common in infants—and most of them are pretty harmless.
Your doctor probably told you that your child’s birthmark was called a hemangioma, which leads to more questions. At Children’s Hospital Boston, we’ve got answers for you.
- An infantile hemangioma is a benign vascular tumor that usually appears as a red birthmark anywhere on your baby’s body within one to two weeks of birth.
- Most infantile hemangiomas don’t cause problems and go away without treatment.
- They grow rapidly for the first few months of life. About the time your baby turns one, the hemangioma may begin to shrink and fade until your child is between five and seven years old.
How Children’s approaches hemangioma
Children’s has the largest Vascular Anomalies Center in the world. So if your child’s hemangioma does need treatment, you’re in the right place. Here at the VAC, we have a team of 25 physicians—representing 16 medical and surgical specialties—who are experts in the field of vascular anomalies. This team approach ensures that your child’s treatment plan is carefully developed and coordinated with the expertise of our specialists in vascular anomalies and in other medical areas throughout the hospital.
We’re also the worldwide referral center for new cases of vascular anomalies like hemangiomas. The large volume of patients seen and reviewed each year contributes to our team's expertise and familiarity with the latest treatment options for your child.
| Dealing emotionally with your child’s birthmark
If your child has a prominent birthmark during early infancy, you may experience a range of emotions, from disappointment to fear. Read about ways to cope with emotions you may experience, such as panic, sadness, a sense of isolation and guilt or self-blame.
Hemangioma: Reviewed by Arin K. Greene, MD, MMSc.
© Children’s Hospital Boston, 2010