A red to reddish-purple, raised sore (lesion) on the skin
A massive, raised, tumor with blood vessels
Most hemangiomas are on the face and neck.
Exams and Tests
Your health care provider will do a physical exam to diagnose a hemangioma. If the build-up of blood vessels is deep inside the body, a CT or MRI scan may be needed.
A hemangioma may occur with other rare conditions. Other tests to check for related problems may be done.
The majority of small or uncomplicated hemangiomas may not need treatment. They often go away on their own and the appearance of the skin returns to normal. Sometimes, a laser may be used to remove the small blood vessels.
Cavernous hemangiomas that involve the eyelid and block vision can be treated with lasers or steroid injections to shrink them. This allows vision to develop normally. Large cavernous hemangiomas or mixed hemangiomas may be treated with steroids, taken by mouth or injected into the hemangioma.
Taking beta-blocker medicines may also help reduce the size of a hemangioma.
Small superficial hemangiomas will often disappear on their own. About half go away by age 5, and almost all disappear by age 9.
These complications can occur from a hemangioma:
Bleeding (especially if the hemangioma is injured)
Morelli JG. Vascular Disorders. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 642.
Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.