Did you know that there were over 3.7 million babies born in the U.S. in 2019?
The birth of a baby is a very special moment, but the weeks—or even days—that follow are often very stressful. This is partly because parents are watching out for any warning signs of potential health issues.
One condition that may pose as a worry to new parents is proliferating infantile hemangioma. But what exactly is this condition? And how does it occur?
We’re here to fill you in. Keep reading below to learn what you need to know about infantile hemangioma and its proliferating phase.
What Is Infantile Hemangioma?
Infantile hemangioma is a benign vascular tumor. It’s the most common tumor among children, and it’s typically recognized within a few weeks of birth.
Infantile hemangioma occurs when collections of extra blood vessels form together. Superficial hemangiomas are red bumps on the surface of the skin, while deep hemangiomas form below the skin and have a blue or purplish tint. There are two main phases of infantile hemangioma: proliferative and involution.
Proliferating infantile hemangioma occurs when the tumor is actively growing. The most rapid growth typically happens about one month after birth and will carry on for another three to four months. By an infant’s first birthday, the tumor will have stopped growing.
During the involution phase, the tumor gradually begins to shrink. They typically will have faded or completely disappeared by the age of 5-10. However, the skin may be slightly raised or mildly discolored indefinitely even after the tumor itself has disappeared.
How to Treat Infantile Hemangioma
When it comes to infantile hemangioma, treatment is rarely necessary, as the tumor will slowly go away on its own once it reaches the involution phase. The best way to manage the tumor is by monitoring it and taking your infant to a doctor routinely during the first year of its life.
Treatment for hemangioma should be considered if the tumor begins bleeding, is extremely painful to the touch, or impairs any critical functions, such as eating or breathing. In this case, doctors will often prescribe oral solutions of beta blockers.
Who’s Prone to Having Infantile Hemangioma?
Infantile hemangioma is more common in Caucasian babies, with females developing it more than males. It’s also more common in premature babies and babies born with a low weight.
The mother’s conditions may also contribute to how likely it is that the baby will develop infantile hemangioma. There may be an increased chance if the mother is of advanced age or was carrying more than one child at once (twins, triplets, etc.). While some families may seem more predisposed to infantile hemangioma, there’s no concrete evidence showing any genetic correlation to the rate of development.
Understanding Proliferating Infantile Hemangioma
The word “tumor” is enough to send any new parent into a panic. Luckily, proliferating infantile hemangioma is less scary than it sounds, and it rarely even requires treatment. With the info above, you’ll have a better idea of how to deal with this common tumor and keep your infant safe and healthy.
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