Hemangiomas or Birth Marks are abnormally dense collections of dilated small blood vessels (capillaries) that may occur in the skin or internal organs. Hemangiomas are usually present at birth thus the more commonly recognized name is Birth Mark. Hemangiomas may appear within a few months after birth, as well. The Hemangiomas can develop in the top skin layers causing a Capillary Hemongioma or in the deeper layers of skin causing a Cavernous Hemangioma. Some Hemangiomas will develop in both the deep and superficial skin layers.
A Birth Mark undergoes a rapid growth phase in which the volume and size increase rapidly. The Birth Mark then enters a rest phase, in which the Birth Mark changes very little. The final phase of the Birth Mark is a period in which the Birth Mark begins to disappear. The Birth Mark may disappear completely or may leave visible changes in the skin.
At Present, lasers have been used to reduce the majority of Hemangiomas. Lasers emitting yellow light selectively damage the vessels in the Hemangioma without damaging the patients skin. Physicians are beginning to use a combination of steroid injections and laser therapy together in order to treat and reduce the affects of Hemangiomas. Some Superficial Hemangiomas are not treated but are allowed to disapper on their own.