Medical Q&As

Haemangioma - common?

Our 4-month-old little girl has a haemangioma, which developed over her left eye since she was born. We’ve been told it will regress by our GP but right now people assume she has had a fall before we have time to speak! Have you any details of haemangioma incidences in Ireland?

A haemangioma is a dense collection of small dilated blood vessels. They are usually present at birth although they may appear within a few months of birth often beginning at a site that has appeared slightly dusky or coloured differently to the surrounding skin. They tend to grow very rapidly at first, which can be a source of great alarm to parents. However in the majority of cases the haemangioma regresses in size and usually disappears altogether during infancy. Given their tendency to remit spontaneously treatment is usually not recommended. Haemangiomas that do not remit spontaneously can be treated by laser or with steroids. I don’t have precise figures on the incidence of haemangioma in Ireland but I would suspect that the figures would be less than 1% of all births.