Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Can Hemangiomas Grow Back?

The chances of a hemangioma growing back after it has shrunk are less and it is unheard of. However, that does not mean that they cannot grow back. Many hemangiomas are usually gone by the time a child is 10 years old. They will first appear when your newborn is just weeks or a few months old. During the first stage, hemangiomas will grow rapidly for a while before their growth starts to slow down. A hemangioma is a mass of extra blood vessels that often appear on the neck, head, and face, but they can present themselves anywhere on the skin surface. They start off as a small tiny red birthmark and with time, it becomes raised, increases in size and has a dome shape.

What Do Hemangiomas Look Like?

Hemangiomas are a type of a red birthmark that is usually round or oval in shape. Small hemangiomas are usually about 0.5 cm in diameter whereas larger ones can grow up to 20 cm in diameter or larger. Larger hemangiomas usually follow the shape of the affected skin area. The growth rate of a hemangioma varies from one baby to the other as well as the time period it takes to grow. There are three types of hemangiomas and each is unique in terms of how it exhibits itself. Superficial hemangiomas appear on the outer surface of the skin and are usually bright red in color. Deep hemangiomas, on the other hand, grow under the skin in the subcutaneous layer and usually have a blue or purple color on the skin. Finally, mixed hemangiomas, which are the most common type, display the traits of both the deep and superficial hemangiomas.

Who Are at Risk of Developing Hemangiomas?

Babies are the most affected group by hemangiomas and especially Caucasian babies and those with low birth weight. They often develop more in baby girls than in baby boys. At birth, the hemangiomas are non-existence and only start to show from 4 to 6 weeks after birth. The growth face can last up to 12 months, whereby the tumor grows really fast. After that, it enters the involution stage, where the hemangioma is no longer growing and barely changes at all. As the baby celebrates the first birthday, the growth is usually at recess and soon after, it starts shrinking. As the hemangioma shrinks, the color varies between a purple and gray until it fades completely.

When Do You Need to See The Doctor?

Hemangiomas normally go away on their own and treatment is not necessary. Most hemangiomas are gone by the time your baby is ten years of age. If they are still present, then you should visit a doctor. Persistent hemangiomas are often situated beneath the skin, on the fat layer, and what remains is a residue of fat, that will not go away on its own. You should also see a doctor when the hemangioma starts to bleed or ulcerate. This is because it can lead to exposure to bacterial infection which can cause other health complications. If the hemangioma is located on internal organs and starts causing problems such as difficulty breathing, eating or eyesight obstruction, you should also visit a doctor.

Why Would a Hemangioma Grow Back?

The only time a hemangioma would grow back after treatment is if you stop taking steroids prescribed by your doctor. This only happens if the hemangioma has not yet surpassed the growth (proliferation) stage. Similarly, if surgery is done but the hemangioma is still in the proliferation stage, then there is a likelihood the hemangioma may come back. The growth stage lasts for about 6 to 9 months, but it may extend to 12 months at most. For segmental hemangiomas, they can grow for as long as 24 months. Treatment is advised only after the proliferation stage has passed since the chances of a hemangioma growing back after that are very minimal.

Conclusion

Hemangiomas rarely grow back after they have disappeared or been treated. However, if one receives treatment prior to the cessation of the growth stage, then a hemangioma may grow back. They start disappearing when a baby is a year old and by the time they are nine or ten, the hemangioma is hardly present. Treatment for hemangiomas is not necessary because they are non-cancerous tumors and will subside on their own.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: September 24, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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