Atypical Hemangioma

Some Important Facts About Infantile Atypical Hemangioma

What is a hemangioma and what is Infantile Atypical Hemangioma. In most cases hemangioma is a benign neoplasm that can develop on a child within the first three months after birth. These are also known as strawberry birthmarks, and they are far more common in Caucasians, and females.  Most typical infantile hemangiomas will disappear by the age of five; even those that were very noticeable. Although it is not common, some may need corrective surgery if it is too much of a hindrance on the child. Another alternative your doctor may choose is to treat the birthmark with steroids.


In most cases this condition will affect the head, face or neck, but on rare occasions they may develop on other parts of the body. The birthmarks will resemble a raised area on the skin that is bright red, and soft, but that can be firm to the touch as well. You may notice that the mark will be more pronounced, as swelling may occur when the baby begins to fuss or get upset. In most cases your baby’s doctor will be able to diagnose the hemangioma without any further tests, but if it appears that it is very deep, or that it is an atypical hemangioma, the doctor may order imaging scans such as an MRI.

Unlike most birthmarks, the strawberry type birthmark is not hereditary, and although any baby can develop this condition, it is more likely in females, and those babies that are born premature. If the birthmark is in a location that is easily noticeable, such as the face or neck, treatment should be started so that it will cause the least amount of physiological stress as possible. In cases where the mark does not fade on its own, many plastic surgeons are using laser surgery with a high success rate.


When there are unusual characteristics, or the hemangioma does not go away, it may be an atypical hemangioma. In some cases an atypical hemangioma can be very deep, which may have an effect on other areas of the body, such as the repertory system, the digestive system and the brain. If an MRI reveals that the hemangioma is deep and there is a danger of the tumor getting bigger, as apposed to resolving itself, surgery is usually the best course.

Another problem to watch for with the atypical hemangioma is bleeding. When the liaison outgrows its blood supply it can cause an ulcer in the tissue, leading to bleeding. The growth of the hemangioma can also cause some problems, even if it is a superficial growth. When it is located on the eye, ear, mouth, or neck, this could lead to several problems. When located on the eye it could obstruct sight, on the neck it could obstruct the airway, and on the ear the growth could cause problems with hearing. As the atypical hemangioma is actually a problem of the veins, a large one could steal the blood supply causing a problem with the child not getting enough oxygenized blood.

When there is a birthmark present, it is always a good idea to take your child to the doctor for a diagnosis, but it is even more important if the birthmark is a hemangioma. In this case you will want to find out if it is superficial, or if it is deep with the potential for problems.

Detecting the atypical hemangioma early can help prevent major problems later. As soon as you notice one of these marks on your baby, contact your pediatrician for advice. Although your child’s doctor may not choose to actively treat the birthmark right away, he or she should be aware of it so that they can watch for complications.