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A hemangioma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor made up of blood vessels. They are of many types and can occur throughout the body, including in skin, muscle, bone, and internal organs.

Most hemangiomas occur on the surface of the skin (capillary hemangioma) or just beneath it (cavernous hemangioma). They often develop on the face and neck, and can vary greatly in color, shape, and size. It appears as a rubbery, bright red nodule of extra blood vessels in the skin, sometimes called a strawberry mark.

About 1in 3 hemangiomas are present at birth. The rest appear in the first several months of life. A hemangioma grows during the first year of life, and then recedes over time.



  • • A red to reddish-purple, raised lesion on the skin.
  • • A massive, raised tumor with blood vessels.
  • • Deep hemangiomas in muscle may cause pain, as well as swelling around the hemangioma that increases with activity.
  • • Hemangiomas in bones may cause pain and enlargement of the bone.


The exact cause is not known, although there may be a hereditary component involved. Some hemangiomas develop after an injury, but whether an injury actually can cause a hemangioma has not been proven.


- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Imaging tests such as CT Scan and MRI
- Biopsy


In most cases no treatment might be required. However if a tumor is growing near vital organs, such as the nose, lips, or eyelids, steroid medication may be advised to slow down the growth of the tumor. The drugs may be injected directly into the hemangioma, or given orally (in pill form).

Laser surgery might be used to treat eyelid hemangiomas.

Compression sleeves or leggings are advised to reduce the swelling associated with hemangiomas.

Embolization - a minimally invasive procedure, is sometimes advised to cut off the blood supply to the tumor helping in shrinking the tumor and decreasing pain. However, the tumor may often regrow over time after these procedures.

Excision of hemangioma - Surgery may be recommended, as with a cavernous hemangioma, if the lesion is destroying the healthy tissues surrounding it.

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