A long hemangioma definition will include details on the various types that are there, possible complications, and even history on treatment and such details.
Since there are too many scientific details that are involved in hemangioma, we will forego the detailed hemangioma definition and focus on the basics. At any rate, a doctor will discuss any treatment option being considered for your case or your child’s.
What is hemangioma? What does it mean?
So what is hemangioma? It is a condition that results from abnormalities in the development of blood vessels. In this case, the blood vessels vasodilate and collect to form a bundle or a bump. The outcome is a bump or a tumor. The bundled vessels often leak blood, a condition known as a hemorrhage.
If the bumps develop deep inside the body or on internal organs, the condition is referred to as cavernous hemangioma. If they develop near the surface of the skin, they are known as capillary hemangiomas. This latter type is common on the face and neck or behind the ears. The former type is more serious and requires medical attention. It can affect the brain, liver or the spinal cord.
Due to their red appearance, hemangioma tumors are nicknamed strawberry birthmarks. In fact, they are classified as moles. It is for this reason that a couple of methods to get rid of moles can also be used against these tumors.
As much as the word “tumor” instills fear in most people, hemangioma tumors are not cancerous. In fact, they also are not painful, contrary to what their appearance might suggest. They are very common in the first 6 months of infancy and will be completely gone by the 6th birthday in most cases, even without treatment.
Hemangioma causes; what causes it in babies
Most cases of hemangioma are observed in young adults, of ages between 20 and 40. The condition is not very common. Out of 500 random members of a population, only 1 will develop the condition.
Remember what we said about hemangioma having so much science behind it? Apparently, not even science has been able to uncover all the actual causes of hemangioma.
Well, it is known that abnormally developed blood vessels cause the bumps. The mystery revolves around what encourages that abnormality, why the bumps bleed and re-bleed and how the condition can be managed without surgical removal.
All in all, the following groups have been observed to develop hemangioma more frequently:
- Premature babies; including ones with below average birth weight
- Some families and individuals who can trace their ancestral roots to New Mexico (Caucasians)
Rapid development of blood vessels and the body in general may be one of hemangioma causes in babies.
What is hemangioma; symptoms and signs
Hemangiomas are easily identifiable from their red mole-like appearance. Some can be as tiny as moles while others can cover large areas of the skin.
For capillary hemangiomas, they will appear redder the closer they are to the surface of the skin. They are most active in regards to growth in the first 6 months. Hemangiomas occurring deeper in the skin will appear darker and are known as cavernous hemangiomas, as we earlier saw.
For hemangiomas that cannot be seen or felt, other symptoms will have to be depended on. For example, hepatic hemangioma, or hemangioma of the liver, cannot be seen. In babies, it causes abdominal growths and even heart failure in its extremity.
When occurring on the brain, hemangioma is known to cause seizures, headaches, cognitive impairment and hemorrhage.
Often, medical diagnosis involving tests and use of MRI are necessary in the case of cavernous hemangioma.
Available Hemangioma treatment options
Capillary hemangiomas will disappear on their own. They rarely call for any specialized hemangioma treatment.
Cavernous hemangiomas on the other hand will call for medical attention in a couple of sets of circumstances. For example, they may be causing seizures and constant headaches in babies. If the tumor is not too deeply incorporated in the brain, surgical removal is usually the best hemangioma treatment.
Hemangiomas can also occur on body parts where they may interfere with processes such as vision or breathing. This actually is the main cause of hemangioma removal in babies. If injured, a hemangioma can result in a fiercely bleeding open sore and will call for removal.
Hemangioma treatment may focus on complete removal or in reducing the size and growth of the tumor. Others may be aimed at managing the severe symptoms of hemangioma. To these ends, a couple of treatment options can be considered. They include:
- Surgical removal
- Laser therapy
- Tumor medications such as vincristine
- Anti-seizure medications
Surgical hemangioma removal; what does it mean and entail
You perhaps have come across some information indicating that surgical hemangioma removal is the best treatment method we have so far. But what does it mean for you, and how is it done?
The procedure speaks for itself. It involves cutting off the bump from the part of the body where it is attached.
Surgical hemangioma removal is usually called for when complications with hemangiomas occur. For example, ulcers can form from the tumors and potentially cause infections, not to mention being intolerably painful.
The hemangiomas can also develop large enough or bleed often enough to interfere with breathing, vision and nerve coordination.
In children, hemangiomas on the liver and the brain are usually surgically removed. However, if the hemangioma is larger than either lobe in the liver, it cannot be surgically removed. The same goes for hemangiomas that are deeply embedded into the brain.
A hemangioma in the liver can be ligated. This is much similar to the method used in cutting off skin tags. Here, a customizable device or a thread is used to tie off the skin growth and literally choke it to death. Another treatment method involves blocking the affected blood vessels to prevent more blood flow.
All in all, a doctor should be the one to provide the final word on which the best decision is to be made.
Hemangioma treatment with home remedies
Just as it is in the case of genital warts, home treatment is sometimes effective for hemangioma but not always advised. This is keeping in mind that the tumors are benign.
All the same, home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil and coconut oil have been observed to be effective when it comes to skin growth treatments like wart removal and when you need to get rid of skin tags. Apple cider vinegar, for example works by corroding the skin growth layer by layer until the whole bump disappears. Coconut oil is a skin soother while tea tree oil helps in reducing inflammations.
Another option you can use for hemangioma treatment at home is cold treatment or freezing. This method is applicable on sensitive parts of the body, especially where creams and home remedies can’t be used. Bumps on the penis or skin tags on the eyelids are good examples.
To treat hemangioma by freezing, all you need is a freezing kit. Such kits are widely available over the counter. If you can’t purchase such a kit, there is still the option of using ice cubes or a refrigerated spoon. Freezing works by killing the blood vessels present in the affected area. Once dead, the bump will disappear.
Note that freezing is known to cause a bit of pain and discomfort, especially when used in infants.
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