Infantile Hemangiomas

Infantile hemangiomas are tumors containing small abnormal blood capillaries that resemble placental tissue. They then grow intermittently, and sometimes quite rapidly, throughout the first 10 -12 months of life. There is usually no more growth after a year of age, and the hemangioma starts its involutional phase. In this phase, the hemangioma can shrink and lighten in color, or it may not appear to do anything. 


Infantile hemangiomas can be classified by the areas they involve. Superficial hemangiomas involve skin only.

  • Deep hemangiomas involve the layers of tissue below the skin and can vary in color from deep purple/blue to skin tones if they are really deep.
  • Compound hemangiomas involve both the skin and deeper tissues.
  • They are vascular birthmarks that usually appear within the first few weeks of birth. Some may even be seen as a small red mark or bruise at birth.


Depending on how large the hemangioma has grown, this shrinking is frequently not enough to make the lesion “go away.” A large percentage of hemangiomas will require some form of intervention to correct the deformity caused by the growth of the hemangioma or to correct scarring caused by ulceration. For this reason, several treatment options are available to us to help control the growth as much as possible.

Congenital Hemangiomas

Congenital hemangiomas are fully formed at birth, and they usually don’t grow anymore, but they may or may not involute (shrink). There are two types of congenital hemangioma:

  • RICH (rapidly involuting congenital hemangioma)
  • NICH (non-involuting congenital hemangioma)

Like each of their names implies, one tends to go away rapidly, and the other doesn’t change at all.

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