June 01, 2008,
R.A. asks from Seattle, WA on May 14, 2008
3 Month Old Has Hemangioma
My 3 month old has a hemangioma (combination of deep and strawberry)on his forehead that has been growing rapidly. In one week it went from the size of a dime to the size of a nickel. The pediatrician says that we need to just wait and see if it goes away on its own. At what point do I start looking into treatments? Where would I start?
So What Happened?™
At 10 months of age, and much insistance on our part, our pediatrician gave us a referral to the vascular anomalies clinic at Seattle Children's hospital. I had actually done all the research and stumbled across it. By that time the bump was the size of a silver dollar and raised about 3/4 of an inch. They said because it was so raised that even if it went away on its own he would need cosmetic surgery for the extra skin and suggested that they operate to remove it. We were also told that if we would have been referred sooner they could have slowed down the growth with less invasive procedures. We had to wait until he was a year old to schedule the surgery. They removed it and now he has a scar that has slowly been going away. My advice would be to follow your gut and don't let anyone say wait and see before you start exploring other options. If I wouldn't have done my own research the pediatrician would still have us waiting and seeing. Thank you to all that encouraged me to keep exploring. It just took me a while to figure out which specialty I should be exploring for his treatment.
H.H. answers from Portland on May 15, 2008
My 11 week old daughter has this on her pinky finger. Her ped told us to be patient and that it will likely get bigger and then eventually be reabsorbed by her body. He said it wasn't a health concern, though.
Hers has gotten a little bigger, but hasn't so far shown any sign of fading.
A.B. answers from Portland on May 15, 2008
I would wait a couple of weeks and if it is still growing and his dr. doesn't want to do anything I would seek a second opinion.
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A.B. answers from Portland on May 15, 2008
My daughter has one too, and it got worse before it got better. Now she's 2 and it has faded to a light pink and gotten a little smaller. Her doc told me that they usually go away entirely by age 9 or 10 (I think that was what she said) and the only reason to do something about it is if it's near their eyes or nose and may get in the way of vision or breathing. Otherwise it's just a cosmetic thing that will go away on its own.
K.O. answers from Portland on May 14, 2008
Don't worry about it. My son had one on his forehead too. It kept getting bigger and darker until he was maybe 6 months old. I swear at some points I thought it was going to burst or something, so dark and kind of protruded a bit. Finally, it slowly started to get lighter and smaller. He's 4 now, you can't tell that it was ever there.
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M.P. answers from Portland on May 14, 2008
I recommend that you research hemangioma so that you will have specific knowledge about it. I've heard that frequently the mark dissolves on it's own. I don't know how long that takes or when to consider treatment. Your own doctor and your research will tell you that.
Sounds to me that your doctor didn't give you enough information. I'd start with calling his office and asking for some written information about hemangioma. I'd also ask the doctor when you should return if it doesn't resolve itself. And how long does it usually take to resolve.
The internet has lots of information about health issues and this is one. If I were you I'd want to talk with other mothers whose baby has had this condition. Look for a support group at the doctor's office, at the hospitals in your area, at the Health Department and on the Internet.
In the meantime, relax as you know that you will always love this son and will find a way to handle whatever happens. Keep your thoughts positive. You don't want to add stress to yourself and your baby. This may be easier once you have more information. If after talking with your pediatrician, you are still feeling that you don't know enough, ask for a referral to a specialist.
1 mom found this helpful
K.R. answers from Seattle on May 15, 2008
R., I would like to respond to your question. My oldest son had one. He just turned 34 yrs old yesterday. His was on his cheek near the jaw line and my 28 year old daughter also had one on her tummy. They did go away. My pediatrician recommended not treating them because he had seen some horrible scars from ones that they attempted to remove. So I opted to watch and not treat. You just need to be careful so they don't get scratched because they will bleed since they are a blood vessel close to the surface. It faded well before he started school. Now you can't even see it and until I read your question I had completely forgotten about it. It did not leave a scar at all. So my recommendation would be to not worry about it but just be careful and if it does get scraped or scratched get medical attention right away. I never did have to do that though. And my son was a very active little boy. I hope this helps to alleviate your concerns. I know how it is to worry about your children. I have 4, they are all grown up they are 25,28,31 and 34 and I still worry about them and I probably always will. That's what being a mom is all about. Just relax and take care. K. R.
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L.A. answers from Los Angeles on May 14, 2008
My nephew had one of these and, I believe, they just left it alone and within a couple of months or so (I'll double-check), it just popped on its own and there is no sign of it. It was rather large. I think, as long as you've seen your doc about it, I'd just wait it out. =0) I'll check with my sister-in-law, just to be sure.
1 mom found this helpful
T.H. answers from Seattle on June 01, 2008
I just want to offer support. My daughter had one on the back of her head which appeared in the first week or so after her birth. People can be so rude with their comments. The rapid growth is scary but it does stop. My daughter is 5 years old now and it is underneath her hair but it is a flat white spot. I believe that doctors are relunctant to do surgery unless it interfers with a vital function like seeing or breathing. They disapper at a rate that coincides with the age i.e. at 1 year 10% will disappear, 2 years old 20% will have disappeared and so on for the next five or so years. Good luck to you and your little boy.
S.R. answers from Eugene on May 15, 2008
Hi R.. My husband and I discovered a hemangioma on our son's jaw when he was 5 months old. The nerve to his face ran right through it. We were told most of them go away by age 5 on there own. Since surgery was not an option because of the danger of nerve damage, we were told to wait it out. His would go from the size of a pea to the size of an orange. The older he got, losing his baby fat, the more noticeable it was. At age 2, after praying for him, it started to get smaller. In two weeks it was completely gone. We give God all the glory for that. I would trust your doctor, do some research about treatments though I don't think there are any, and I will pray for your son. I know they look odd and not very pretty, but they're harmless. I hope this helps you.
J.A. answers from Seattle on May 15, 2008
My older daughter had a hemangioma on the top of her head. Her doctor told me not to worry about it, it would get better on it's own. But, I experienced the same thing you did. It got way worse before it got better. It was a good couple of years before that spot grew hair. Long story short, it did eventually go down and lose it's color. Now at 9, you'd never know it was ever there. Good luck to you and your baby boy :)
S.S. answers from Seattle on May 15, 2008
R., I have an 11 month old duaghter with two large hemangeoma's on her thigh. She was 8 weeks premature and born without anything, about one week after she was born I noticed a tiny little speck on her thigh which has grown and grown and grown. As far as I know there is no treatment other than having them removed. Since my daughter's are on her thigh that has not been an option for her dad or I or her Dr. We will just let them resolve on there own.
I do know that they usually start to dissipate after the first year and are usually flat by year two. By the end (around year 5) they should turn into a flat, light puplish color that is not very noticable.
I know Dr's will consider removing them if they could impair eyesight.
Good luck...I know it is hard. But luckily (hopefully) not permanent!