DEAR MAYO CLINIC:
My daughter developed numerous hemangiomas, most of them on her face and stomach, when she was a few months old. She is now 6 years old and they have not gone away. She is self-conscious of them and people are always asking about her condition. Is there a safe way to surgically remove them? Will she have them her whole life? I had been told they should resolve on their own before she was in school.
Even though they usually are not present at birth, hemangiomas are considered a type of birthmark. Typically these red marks on the skin grow during a child’s first year of life and then begin to slowly shrink and fade. Hemangiomas can take a long time to go away and in some cases they never disappear completely. There are ways to remove hemangiomas that last or that cause problems.
Hemangiomas are caused by an abnormally dense group of extra blood vessels. Many hemangiomas appear as flat, red marks on the skin during the first several weeks or months of life. They can be on any part of the body, but are most commonly located on an infant’s face, scalp or neck.