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My 6 weeks old Daughter is diagnosed with strawberry hemangioma. Was advised that it will grow bigger but regress in years to come. Nothing needs to be done. However, I am considering consulting a dermatologist but unsure what type of treatment will they suggest for a 6week old infant. Would appreciate to have a 3rd party view on this. Thanks
Strawberry haemangiomas are due to abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. They may or may not be present at birth, gradually increase in size in the first few months and involutes over the next few years.
Most cases will not require active treatment. However, if the location is at sites that can cause complications eg. around the eye causing visual obstruction, or at a site that affects feeding or breathing, or if it is increasing rapidly in size with bleeding and ulceration, treament will be required.
Increasingly oral or topical propranolol is the treatment of choice. Other options include oral steriods, laser and surgery.
It is important to establish the correct diagnosis as there are other forms of haemangioms which may not follow this pattern of spontaneous resolution. Ultrasounds or scan may be needed in some cases to confirm the disgnosis.
You can see a dermatologist who can advise you further about this.
Dr Colin Theng
As Dr Paul mentioned, strawberry hemangiomas tend to go away on their own.
They usually grow the fastest over the few first weeks, up until about 5 – 8 months. They then begin to shrink at around 1 – 3 years of age, but may take a few more years to go away completely. On average, an infant with a hemangioma typically shows little visible trace of it by age 10.
Strawberry hemangioma are caused by blood vessels, which is why propanolol (which inhibits the growth of blood vessels) can help, although it does have some side effects.
I’d agree with your decision to see a dermatologist to have it checked out. Most do NOT require treatment, but a very small proportion of hemangiomas can be associated with complications eg. in terms of affecting development, or scarring.
The decision whether or not to treat a hemangioma is determined by a number of factors, which include:
- Age of your child
- Size and location of the hemangioma
- How rapidly the hemangioma is growing
Apart from propanolol, other treatments include:
- Oral steroids
- Surgical removal
- Laser therapy
A dermatologist will be able to advice you on the above accordingly. The good news is that the vast majority of infantile haemangiomas are not at risk of any complications at all, and will not require treatment.
Thank you for your question. I’m sure as a parent, having something diagnosed on your child can be the most frustrating thing ever.
Your child is quite small at 6 weeks old, and depending on the size of the lump, most doctors will probably advice to monitor it at this stage.
At a later stage, if it doesn’t go away, there are always other treatment options like laser or a medication called propranolol.
But in summary, rest assured that if the diagnosis of strawberry hemangiona is correct, there are effective treatments for it.