Hemangioma is a non cancerous tumor, which is caused by the abnormal growth of blood vessels. This tumor can occur anywhere on a person’s body but mostly it targets the face and neck and it is also present at birth. It often appears during six months after a child is born.
They are of two types. The first type is capillary hemangioma and the second type is cavernous hemangioma. The first type appears on the skin’s outer layer and is called as strawberry birthmarks. It can also be found on the eye socket, eye surface as well as on the eyelids. During the course of development, they also cause problem to our eyes leading to conditions like amblyopia, glaucoma and other vision problems. The second type appears around the eyes on the skin’s deep layers.
Usually these conditions gradually fade away on its own and nearly ninty percent of hemangioma disappear when a child reaches nine years of age.
The exact cause for this condition is unknown but some studies suggest that protein in the placenta, produced during pregnancy is the cause for this condition. Caucasian babies are more prone to this condition and especially female babies. Premature babies also have greater risk.
They appear as reddish or purple lesions on the skin and are large. The blood vessels are visible and growth in color and size is noticeable. If the size is large, it is a serious problem and can damage the vision and cause other conditions like lazy eye or amblyopia. Sometimes they can also press the optic nerve leading to conditions like optic nerve atrophy.
Hemangioma Diagnosis and treatment:
It can be diagnosed easily by the appearance and there is no need for testing. The treatment procedure depends upon the size of lesion. Steroid medications are used to treat hemangioma and they cause hemangioma to shrink. The steroid can be given orally, by injection or applying it on the skin surface. Some of the side effects are cataracts, glaucoma etc. but when it is closely monitored, there is no possibility of developing side effects.
Propanolol is also used to treat this condition and has fewer side effects when compared to steroids and it is taken orally or applied on the skin. This medicine can affect the heart rate and blood pressure as well. Laser treatment is done to lessen the size of hemangioma. Surgery is done when the hemangioma is pressing the optic nerve and when it is under the skin surface.