Learn about strawberry hemangioma birthmark, what it means, how it looks like and stages of development -pictures or images, what causes this type of birthmark, myths and ancient stories, information if it goes away on it own and how to remove it and available treatment options.
Meaning-What is it?
A hemangioma can be referred as a benign or non-cancerous vascular lesion that develops as a birthmark on a newborn’s skin.. They also known as nevus vascularis, strawberry mark, capillary hemangioma and hemangioma simplex.
What does a Strawberry Birthmark look like? Stages
This type of birthmark looks like a rubbery vascular formation, these are generated from the propagation of extra blood vessels inside the skin. The reddish hues that are seen on these marks are the reason why the name strawberry comes in.
These birthmarks usually occur at the birth and recedes in due course. In the early stages, the lesions may be bluish or red spots or patches, and the superficial lesions may remain flat. Deeper lesions have a bluish appearance.
Compound lesions may occur, having both superficial and deep areas. By the time your kid reaches at around the age of 10, the birthmark recedes.
These spots can appear on any part of the body, though the most common zones include face, chest scalp and back. You will see in pictures shortly. This particular type of mark normally does not cause any problem unless the proliferated blood vessels get into your child’s vision and respiratory system.
What ancient stories or false beliefs exist about capillary hemangioma birthmark?
There’s plethora of myths that revolve around the birthmarks and it’s no different with nevus vascularis. Moreover with red bloody vascular appearance, hemangioma carries myths more than you could ever imagine. However, most of the stories circulated about this birthmark essentially involve its origin.
According to the most famous stories, when a pregnant woman touches herself while standing in a strawberry farm, she eventually gives birth to a baby with a strawberry mark on its body.
However, there’s an old wives tale that says when a pregnant woman consumes a lot of strawberries, her child will born with this mark on its body. These are the pictures of the strawberries that she had consumed when the child was in her womb.
A baby with red nodular growth on the body is also said to have been carried into this world by storks (birds). Accordingly, the birthmarks have appeared as a testament that occurs at the place where the stork lifts or touches the body.
While in these cases nevus vascularis is a sign of stork lifting the body, the other cultures bear the idea that these marks are a telltale sign of good luck.
In addition to its origin, some myths also revolve around its treatment procedure, the significant of which is the belief that massaging hemangioma is an ideal way to reduce their swelling. However, that’s a bad practice, doctors say. Instead of reducing the red mark, massage may lead to complications like irritation and infection. It’s better to leave the birthmarks the way they are to allow it to disappear on its own. In case, the complications seem to be serious, it’s better to consult a doctor.
Keep in mind that myths have no scientific basis and hence, they should not be given much importance. Birthmarks are completely scientific and needs clinical diagnosis in case it turns out to be serious.
What causes Strawberry Birthmarks
Though the cause of a strawberry birthmark on arm, face, forehead, scalp or neck of adults & babies is unknown, it’s clear that these are not exactly inherited, except in rare cases. However, these are formed from the abundance of blood vessels in a particular region of the skin.
There’s so many folk tales and myths revolve around these birthmarks, but neither has proved the true reason behind its growth. A strawberry nevus/birthmark is diagnosed as a collection of blood vessels to your skin’s surface.
Studies reveal that, strawberry marks mostly occur in
- White infants
- Premature babies
While talking about the causes of this birthmark, you should also draw reference from the fact that nevus vascularis may be present at birth, but occasionally, they do appear later after several months. It usually appears right at the moment when some blood vessels accumulate beneath the dermis of the skin. Thus, a child, who is born with a single mark on its skin can have multiple marks in due course and they continue to propagate until they start disappearing on their own.
Dermatologists say that these marks usually appear and grow rapidly during the first month of the child birth. In fact, during this time, it happens to develop as a spongy mass that protrudes from the skin. Often it is misdiagnosed as a tumor by the doctors until it goes to the resting phase. Once it enters the rest phase, the blood vessels cease to propagate in other areas of the body and eventually it begins to disappear.
According to the recent studies, most of the strawberry birthmarks usually disappear by the age 5 and nearly all hemangiomas are resolved by age 10. However, keep in mind that the reddish hues which come as a result of these marks actually fade away, but it leaves behind a permanent discolored skin as a residual extra. In some cases, the skin may appear baggy and swollen after the spot resolves.
Though, hemangioma does not cause much complication. Occasionally they break down to develop a sore. In such scenarios, the affected person might experience pain, scarring, infection and bleeding. In rare cases will this condition interfere with the respiratory tract and the vision of a child, thus leading to fatal complication like blindness and asthma.
Pictures: Babies & Adults
Below is a picture of strawberry hemangioma
Do Strawberry Birthmarks go away? Hemangioma Removal & Treatment
As discussed above, these marks are usually benign and in most cases, they fade away within the early years of the child’s birth. They actually do go away on their own… Hence, a rigorous treatment is not always recommended. However, if the spot becomes complicated and gets into the vision and respiratory system of the child, doctors consider a removal technique. However, in any case, a proper diagnosis is all what you need.
Among the most followed methods, mention must be made of the steroid injections, laser removal and cryotherapy. In these techniques, doctors use liquid nitrogen to freeze the tissue, so that the abnormal areas of skin can be faded away. Additionally, it’s also true that these procedures usually come with their own set of side effects, which mostly include scarring. Sometimes, the child also experience pain in the region where the tissues are removed.
In severity, considering a plastic surgeon is important as they are able to remove the entire red patch of skin. However, it’s not recommended until the birthmark gets deep into the skin.
Below are strawberry hemangioma pictures before and after
To conclude, strawberry nevus / birthmarks are not dangerous until they get deep into the skin. However, it’s important to keep a close watch to the nature of the development of the spot, so that your child can avoid serious complications in the long run.
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