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How do you recognize hemangiomas?

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Quick Answer

Hemangiomas present as bright red, raised nodules on the skin, according to Mayo Clinic. They are also called strawberry marks or strawberry nevi, according to MedlinePlus.

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Full Answer

Hemangiomas are made up of tangles of extra blood vessels and are benign. They are often present at birth, grow during the child's first year, then begin to fade, says Mayo Clinic. They most often appear on the face, scalp, chest and back.

The strawberry mark appears in the top layers of the skin, in which case it is a capillary hemagioma, says MedlinePlus. If it appears in the deeper layers of the skin, it is a cavernous hemangioma. Some people have a combination of both capillary and cavernous hemangiomas. They can also appear on internal organs.

Though most hemagiomas cause no problems beyond being unsightly, some are so large that they interfere with vision or breathing, according to Mayo Clinic. If they interfere with vision, doctors can remove them with lasers or shrink them with steroid injections, says MedlinePlus. Sometimes the patient takes the steroid orally to shrink the hemangioma. Other medications that shrink hemangiomas are beta blockers. Other problems with hemangiomas occur if they bleed, develop infections or sores, or make the person feel self-conscious.

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