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Old 04-29-2009, 06:31 PM
ShayInNC ShayInNC is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2
Default New here - 6 month old with superficial H on face

Hi everyone - apologies for the long post.

My name is Shannon and I stumbled onto your site today while doing more research on hemangiomas.

My son is 6 months old and has had a superficial hemangioma since about week 4. Started off as what I thought was a busted blood vessel (spidery) or a scratch on his cheek. It got larger and puffier. It's not "bad" in comparison to some I've seen, but it does worry me - especially because it's on his face and people stare at him and ask me "What's wrong with his face?" (to which I reply NOTHING is WRONG with his face anyway... )

I took him to a pediatric dermatologist specialist at Duke in December (2 months old) and again in February (4 months old) to monitor and compare.

He thinks that the hemangioma (as of February) has stopped growing and is already starting to involute. He said he could notice some "graying" of it, which is hard for me to see myself, but the dr said he could see it. It's probably about the size of a butterbean.

He and my pediatrician recommend leaving it alone for now and letting it do its thing, since it seems to be involuting already. I'm eager for it to go away and have a few questions for anyone here:

a) wondering if anyone chose steroids or laser treatments after their dr said to "wait it out" and if so, what was the outcome?

b) for those who have "waited it out" how long did it take to completely involute? and do you have any pictures in stages you can share with me so I can get a better idea for what it's supposed to look like?

The internet seems to show really intense examples, and Owen's isn't as bad as what is online, so it is hard for me to gauge what a smaller, superficial hemangioma should look like in its resting and involution phases.

It breaks my heart when people see his hemangioma instead of his beautiful face and smile. I've attached photos for your reference re: his hemangioma size.

Thanks for any help
Attached Images
File Type: jpg owenface1.JPG (83.7 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg owenface2.JPG (70.4 KB, 89 views)
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Old 04-29-2009, 06:39 PM
Tessamarie Tessamarie is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 77

Hi: My daughter has one like that on her forehead (and a smaller one on the other side of her forehead too). I was told to wait it out, then it grew larger, we were put on steroid cream, it made it worse, we were given a referral to a dermatologist and now we have been given a referral to Sick Kids Hospital. I can't help you much with another other info about the resting phase and involution phase other than I heard it will start to change color in the middle and stop being bright red.
I have found EXACTLY the same thing with my daughter and what people see. Everyone asks all the time if I dropped her on her head or "look at that boo-boo, what happened to her?" rather than commenting on how cute she is.
I will post more later when I find out about Sick Kids and what they decide to do next....
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:37 PM
nickbar nickbar is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,054

a) steroids will not help the h. if it has stopped growing. However, laser would be a very valid option for this h. if you want to speed up involution.
b) Unfortunately, all h. are different even when they appear similar...they have a "mind of their own". However, if you find similar cases, it can give you an idea of what you might be in for.
Regardless of size, most h. start fading from the center out.. you'll see the color dull and appear more grayish. Hang in there.
Corinne Barinaga
VBF Director of Family Services
vbfadvocate @ live. com (no spaces)
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Old 04-30-2009, 03:00 AM
EFMama EFMama is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 45

My 2.5 year old developed one on his back shortly after birth. Our dr said it should fade by time he was a year old. At 12 months, it was unchanged, but now, it has shrunk to less that half it's original size. I estimate it will be gone by time he is 4.

My second son has a much larger one on his forehead. We get the stares and comments all the time. I just tell people it's a birthmark and it doens't hurt him and it will go away on it's own.

His dr (a different one that my first son) used to be a dermatologist. She said she saw lots of these H, and that they mostly all disappear by time the child is 10. His is supposedly starting to involute, but to me, it just looks puffier, which I guess is probably part of the process. I do see the grayish spots that resemble dry skin on the H, which is a sign of it breaking down. Time will tell, I guess.

We've never sought treatment for it and we don't plan to - unless it starts to grow again or has big changes in appearance.
Me - Aimee - Spot on liver
Elliot, 9/20/06 - H on back (nearly gone)
Felix, 7/28/08 - H on forehead (in involution)
Taking the 'wait and see' approach, for now.
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:14 PM
kaylan_edgcumbe kaylan_edgcumbe is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7

Hi Shannon,
my little guy just turned 1 and has 8 hemangiomas. The one on his arm looks to be similar in size to that of Owens. Although it is still the same size, it's started to go grey in the middle and deflate - when we get out of the pool it looks like it's turning black in the middle - up until 10 months there was no sign of involution but now at 12 months it's really started to change.

One on his leg which was bright red at 8 weeks has since almost completely faded. Of the 8, one is about 90% gone, 4 are in the process of involution (slowly) and the remaining 3 haven't shown signs of involution yet.

We've been to the dermatology clinic at Sick Kids in Toronto and they keep giving me the "wait and see" line. I'm going to give it until he's two and then may try laser treatments.

Good luck. Owen is beautiful!!
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:45 PM
Lori Lori is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1

Shannon, my son (3 months on Thursday) has a H identical to Owens in the picture just a little higher up. I'm wondering what treatment if any you chose and how it all worked out?
Yesterday we were told to do laser and topical steroid. We are going for a second opinion tomorrow. Thanks so much. I've been scanning the web for hours trying to find a baby with a similar H. Thanks for posting.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:16 AM
sarajustice80 sarajustice80 is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 50


Is your son's H superficial? If so, laser and timolol(topical beta blocker) would be your best bet. I am not too familiar with topical steroid but I have heard that they don't do much good.

Good luck!
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:48 PM
RsMom RsMom is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 27

What a cutie! My daughter had a very similar H but it was on her nasal fold. When it was about the size of your son's (but she was 3 months), we started propranolol and it is nearly gone now (she's 8 months). I do not think propranolol works if it is already in involution though. If it is involuting on it's own, I would probably let it run its course. It will go away on it's own without medication. However, if you continue to notice growth, I would talk to your doctor again or get a second opinion if they continue to say wait and see. Propranolol was wonderful for my daughter.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:11 PM
smurph smurph is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 459

Hi Shannon!
I have 3 children with hemangiomas. My 5 year old had one on her upper lip and the skin reaching up to her nose. It grew rapidly and ulcerated so she went on the oral steroids at 10 weeks of age. I felt it was necessary to give the steroids a try because she was in a lot of pain and it was becoming really disfiguring to her lip/nose area. It didn't start to involute on its own until about 12 or 13 months of age.

My other daughter (who is almost 2) had a pretty large hemangioma all over her hand and wrist. It got so puffy and red it looked like it was just going to burst! The same doc who treated our daughter's lip recommended no treatment for her hand. He said that location rarely causes a problem and that it was likely to go away on it's own (which it is doing). We started to see the first signs of involution in her at about 10 months of age. It is still visible but has faded A LOT!

My other daughter (her twin) has a small superficial one under her started to involute when she was about 18 months old.

I'm not an expert at all, but I haven't heard of too many hemangiomas that involute as early as 6 months...but I'm not sure...most of what I've seen is like a year or later. If it's not causing ulceration or pain, maybe laser might be an option to consider if you want to do something. The steroids can affect the whole body (since it's taken orally) and it was a really hard decision for us. Our daughter's was really growing out of control and causing her a lot of pain and problems...that's why we did the steroids. We actually are looking into laser now for her to diminish the last bits of her hemangioma. If you want to see my kids' hemangioma photo albums, please email me at and I'll send them to you. Neither of them are really as severe as what you tend to see on internet and you can get a pretty good idea of the progression. By the way, your son is so adorable! You would think people nowadays would at least recognize his hemangioma as a type of birthmark and catch themselves before they open their mouths!!! Believe me, we have been right where you are!!! Good luck with whatever you choose! Keep us posted!

Shannon (from NH)
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Old 12-28-2010, 07:57 PM
ScarlettsMommy ScarlettsMommy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 40

Hi Shannon. My daughter is 18 months, her birthmark is in her hairline. Below are pictures of her at 9 months and what she looks like now. I hope this gives you some sort of idea. No treatment.

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