Capillary Hemangioma

A capillary hemangioma is a bright red birthmark that can sometimes be the most noticeable feature of a little baby. Here's what to do about it.

A capillary hemangioma is a bright red birthmark that can sometimes be the most noticeable feature of a little baby. Hemangiomas often don’t appear until a baby is a month old, and can continue to grow throughout infancy.

Some are cute; some are large and unsightly. Thankfully, most will disappear on their own within about 2 years. Because of this, and because treatments often resulted in complications and scarring, previously, most hemangiomas were left untreated.

Recently, however, treatments have been improving. Removing them is now an option well worth considering.

The May 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology highlights a new type of treatment: mild cryosurgery. Using a probe that is only half as cold as standard liquid nitrogen probes, the hemangiomas are gently frozen.

This simple technique has impressive results, without the complications sometimes seen with traditional cryosurgery.

Whether hemangiomas are treated or not, babies deserve to have parents and others look at them with wonder and delight.

Published on: June 12, 2000
About the Author
Photo of Alan Greene MD
Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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