Vascular Malformations

There are many differences between hemangiomas and vascular malformations. Hemangiomas, made up of capillaries, tend to grow throughout the first year of life and then regress. Vascular malformations are made up of arteries, veins, or lymphatic channels depending on the type of malformation. Vascular malformations also tend to grow throughout life and usually will require some type of intervention.

Midline Venular Malformations

Midline venular malformations are quite common and may be referred to as capillary malformations, stork bites or angel kisses. They are usually light to medium pink in color and are present in the middle of the forehead or on the back of the neck, however, they can also appear on the eyelids and between the eyes.


These lesions usually gradually fade over the first couple of years of life and only rarely persist or darken. If the area is still present in later childhood, laser treatments can be done to help the area fade and go away.

Venular Malformations

These lesions are also known as port-wine stains and can occur anywhere on the body. They are frequently present at birth and start off as a flat pink or red lesion. They tend to grow with the patient and darken with age. Some of these port wine stains will eventually form small lumps on the surface called cobblestones. It is felt that port wine stains occur from a lack or deficiency of the nerves that go to the blood vessels to control flow.


Currently, there is no cure for port-wine stains but laser treatment can be a very effective way to lighten the port-wine stain and in many cases make it virtually disappear. The laser treatments frequently need to be continued intermittently into adulthood.