Hemangiomas are birthmarks or non-cancerous growths that resulted from an abnormal collection of blood vessels. They are most commonly found on the skin or internal organs, particularly the liver. Also they are congenital, so most people develop them before birth.
Hemangioma consists of an abnormally dense group of extra blood vessels. Experts are not sure what causes the blood vessels to group together, but it may be caused by certain proteins that are produced in the placenta during gestation, or there may be a hereditary component involved.
Hemangioma On the Skin
Hemangiomas of the skin can be found or usually form on the top layer of skin, or on the fatty layer underneath. At first, it may appear to be a red birthmark on the skin. As time passes, it will start to protrude from the skin.
Hemangioma On the Liver
Hemangiomas on the liver can be found on the liver’s surface. These hemangiomas may be estrogen-sensitive. During menopause, some women are given prescription for replacement estrogen, to minimize the symptoms caused by the decline of their natural estrogen levels. This is because an excess in estrogen can fuel the growth of liver hemangiomas.
Where Else Can Hemangiomas Form?
Hemangiomas can form or grow on other areas within the body, such as the brain, lungs, kidneys and colon. Hemangiomas that form in the brain cavities, or other cavities within the body are known as cavernous hemangiomas.
Hemangiomas may occur more often in premature babies, white infants and females.
Hemangiomas normally do not have any symptoms, during or even after their formation. They may cause symptoms, if they appear in sensitive areas, grow large or if there are multiple hemangiomas.
Skin Hemangiomas Appearance
Hemangiomas of the skin appear to be small red bumps or scratches. As they grow, their appearance is similar to that of a birthmark. Skin hemangiomas are also called strawberry hemangiomas, due to their deep-red appearance. These types are mostly found on the face or neck.
Hemangiomas of the Internal Organs
Hemangiomas that form within the body are not noticeable until they grow large, or several hemangiomas formed. The most common symptoms you may experience are, abdominal discomfort, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss.
Test and Diagnosis:
Hemangiomas are diagnosed based on appearance. Your doctor can diagnose them just by physical examination.
Hemangiomas of the organs, are usually diagnosed or spotted during an imaging test, such as an MRI, CT scan or ultrasound.
Skin hemangiomas that develop sores or lesions may require treatment.
Treatment options include the following:
1. Corticosteroid medication – Corticosteroids can be injected into the nodule, applied to the skin or given by mouth.
2. Laser treatment – Lasers can end the growth of a hemangioma. It can be use sometimes to remove a hemangioma or treat sores on a hemangioma that is not healing.
3. Surgical removal
4. Medicated gel