Zoey’s Infantile Hemangioma Diagnosis

7583910800_IMG_6103When Zoey was about two weeks old I noticed a lump on her chest. It had a red dot in the center and looked blueish in color. We took her to the doctor to find out she has an infantile hemangioma. 

What is an Infantile Hemangioma?

Infantile hemangiomas are benign tumors formed from the overgrowth of blood vessels, on or under the skin. Zoey has both. Infantile hemangioma is sometimes called a ‘strawberry mark’ due to its color and surface appearance.

Infantile hemangiomas can occur anywhere on the body, but are often on the face and neck. Zoey’s is on the upper right side of her chest.

What Causes an Infantile Hemangioma?

The causes of infantile hemangiomas are not well understood. However, they know certain babies are at higher risk of infantile hemangioma. These include babies with lower birth weight, females, caucasians, and premature babies.

Is Infantile Hemangioma Contagious?

No, it is not contagious.

Is Infantile Hemangioma a Serious Condition?

In some severe cases, hemangiomas can interfere with an important function. Such as ones on the eyes, nose, and mouth. Thankfully for Zoey that’s not the case.

Will Her Infantile Hemangioma Keep Growing?

Infantile hemangiomas grow quickly, appearing shortly after birth (two weeks for Zoey). By the time babies are 3 months old the hemangioma growth is 80% complete and by the time they’re 5 months old the hemangioma will be at full size.

The pictures with the swaddle are from when Zoey was 1 month old. The picture below without the swaddle was Zoey’s hemangioma at 2 months old and it’s only gotten a little bit bigger since then. She’s currently 3 months old. IMG_0775

Will Her Hemangioma Go Away?

Most infantile hemangiomas can resolve on their own by the time the child is 7 to 9 years old, 69% of hemangiomas can leave permanent residual lesions (scars, extra skin, extra fatty tissue etc.)

Is There Treatment For an Infantile Hemangioma?

The dermatologist said we did have the option to give Zoey propranolol to help slow down the growth of her hemangioma. However, propranolol has some common side effects which include: sleep problems, worsening respiratory tract infections, diarrhea and vomiting. It also has some severe side effects that include: new or worsening slow heart rate or low blood pressure, breathing problems or wheezing or stroke.

What We Decided …

Although the doctor offered the medicine, she agreed with us that because of the size and location of Zoey’s hemangioma it is NOT worth the risk of giving her the propranolol.  So for now we’re just watching it and monitoring it’s growth. Although, I have to say even if it gets much bigger I’m not sure we will give her the medicine. The hemangioma is causing her no harm, she’s not in any discomfort or pain and it’s not worth the risk to us to give her that medicine.

She is very blessed that her hemangioma is in the location it is and not growing to be too large (so far).

Our Journey…

When I first noticed the lump (before I knew it was a hemangioma) just like any mother I was a little worried. Well, more like really worried. I was two weeks postpartum with crazy hormones (still have them) so I was a little emotional. Thankfully, we were able to make an appointment with our pediatrician the next day.

Her doctor knew right away that she had an infantile hemangioma. She said it was a benign tumor and I think all I heard was the word tumor. I held back the tears as she pulled out one of her books to give me more information on hemangiomas. The pictures in her book were of children who had hemangiomas the size of softballs. Inside, my worries got bigger. The doctor explained I had nothing to worry about.

Zoey is now 3 months old. We were referred to a pediatric dermatologist after her two month appointment. The dermatologist gave us more information about Zoey’s hemangioma and we’ve been monitoring it’s growth ever since. 7583910800_IMG_6072

References:

  • Leayte-labreze C et al. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011;25:1245-53.
  • Haggstrom A et al. J Pediatr. 2007;150(3):291-4.
  • Haggstrom A et al. Pediatrics 2006;118;882-887
  • Tollefson M & Frieden IJ. Pediatrics 2012;130(2):314-20

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