Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumor of infancy, and are present at birth in 1 to 2.6% of all infants. The incidence of hemangiomas increases to 10-12% of children by one year of age. The color of hemangiomas may vary based on the depth of the lesion, and may be blue to red.
Typically hemangiomas rapidly grow for the first 4-8 months of life; this is then followed by a plateau phase lasting 6-12 months. Following that phase, an involution phase occurs in which the hemangioma spontaneously shrinks. This begins around 18 months and continues for several months to a year. A majority of hemangiomas will have total resolution, with 65% involuting by age 5 years, 70% by age 7 and 90% by age 9. Some hemangiomas may require treatment with medications and/or surgical procedures. Medical therapy includes use of Propranolol, systemic steroids, or local steroid injections into the hemangioma. Some hemangiomas may require surgical procedures including laser treatment, sclerosis or embolization treatment by an Interventional Radiologist, or surgical excision.
The Pediatric Plastic Surgeons at UNC routinely work with Pediatric Dermatologists and Interventional Radiologists to provide multidisciplinary care for children with hemangiomas and individualized care for your child based on his or her needs.