Hemangiomas, or infantile hemangiomas, are noncancerous growths of blood vessels. They’re the most common growths or tumors in children. They usually grow for a period of time and then subside without treatment. They don’t cause problems in most infants. However, some hemangiomas may open and bleed or ulcerate. This may be painful. Depending on their size and location, they may be disfiguring. Additionally, they may occur with other central nervous system or spine abnormalities. At first, a hemangioma may appear to be a red birthmark on the skin. Slowly, it will start to protrude upward from the skin. However, hemangiomas are not usually present at birth.
Vascular malformations are rare with some types found in less than 1 percent of the population. If you have one, chances are it developed before you were born—many types of vascular malformations don’t cause symptoms until they are triggered by such events as adolescence, pregnancy, or some major surgery, trauma or injury. Vascular malformations are a result of the abnormal growth and development of a single type of vessel or a combination of vessels. Over the years, malformations can grow larger and become problematic depending on what type(s) of vessel is involved. They can be harmless and minor or very serious, sometimes even life-threatening.