Loading icon
Press enter or spacebar to select a desired language.
Health Information Center

Infantile Hemangioma

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:


Infantile Hemangioma

(Superficial Hemangioma; Deep [or Cavernous] Hemangioma; Strawberry Hemangioma; Strawberry Mark)


An infantile hemangioma is a type of birthmark. It develops shortly after birth, usually on the head or neck.


A hemangioma is a cluster of blood vessels that do not form properly. It is not known what causes this to happen.

Risk Factors

Things that raise a baby's risk of a hemangioma are:

  • Premature birth
  • PHACE syndrome


A hemangioma that is close to the skin surface:

  • Looks like a red or purple bump on the skin
  • May continue to grow and spread

A hemangioma that is deeper under the skin—looks like a bluish swelling

Some large hemangiomas may lead to:

  • Ulceration—deep sores in the skin
  • Scarring or deformity
  • Problems with nearby structures—such as the eyes or airway
  • Problems with blood vessels of the eye or brain
  • Heart, kidney, gastrointestinal, brain, or spinal problems


The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. Diagnosis may be based on the physical exam. The doctor may advise testing to rule out other problems.

Imaging tests can look at the hemangioma and nearby structures. These may include:


Most hemangiomas will go away on their own. The mark usually fades by age 5. It is often gone by puberty.

If the hemangioma is causing problems, the doctor may advise treatment. Options may be:

  • Dressings—to help prevent infection and control oozing
  • Medicines such as:
    • Acetaminophen to ease pain
    • Beta-blockers, steroids, or vincristine (rarely)—to help shrink the hemangioma
    • Topical ointments—to help with wound healing and pain relief
    • Antibiotics—to treat infection
  • Surgery—if hemangiomas cause pain, or problems with sight or breathing
  • Lasers—to reduce blood vessels on the surface


There are no current guidelines to prevent hemangiomas.





  • Castrén E, Salminen P, et al. Risk factors and morbidity of infantile haemangioma: preterm birth promotes ulceration. Acta Paediatr. 2016 ;105(8):940-945.
  • Hemangioma in infants. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hemangioma-in-infants . Accessed February 26, 2021.
  • Hemangioma. The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation website. Available at: https://birthmark.org/birthmark/hemangioma. Accessed February 26, 2021.


  • Marcin Chwistek, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.