Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Hemangiomas  |  Port Wine Stains  |  Vascular Malformations  
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Determine Type

Determine Type of Birthmarks


only occurs in infants

Port Wine Stains

all ages

Vascular Malformations

all ages

Appears at or shortly after birth
Present at birth
May be present at birth. May appear suddenly at any age or may appear following illness or trauma or during times of hormone changes
Grows rapidly for first 0-9 months. Most stop growing between 6-18 months
Stays same until adulthood, may thicken with age or become cobbled
Most grow slowly from birth or may onset suddenly and have slow or intermittent growth
Stops growing by 18 months, but can take up to ten years to regress, often leaving a cosmetic deformity
Never go away, can stay the same thickness or may thicken with age
Never go away, usually grow with individual. May have growth spurts with hormone changes or from trauma or sickness.
May be raised, flat or both
flat at birth, may slightly thicken with age
Mostly think and deep, may be diffused or focal
Can be inside or outside of body. Inside locations include brain, liver, intestines
Mostly on skin but can be on brain or behind eye
Can be inside or outside body, including on brain, liver, intestines, spine, stomach, or organs
Can ulcerate or bleed
Little blebs can bleed
Can result in bleeds
Stay same when sick, feels spongy
Same when sick, but change color with hot or cold
Lymphatic swell/shrink with respiratory illness. Venous fill when inverted, arterio-venous have pulse when pressed
Responds to steroids
Does not respond to steroids
Malformations usually do not respond to steroids except some lymphatic lesions
Some respond to laser
Respond to laser
Some respond to laser
Surgery can be indicated
Surgery rarely indicated
Surgery often indicated
Early intervention recommended but not always necessary
Early intervention recommended to prevent thickening

Early intervention recommended to minimize extent of surgery