A hemangioma is a type of birthmark. It is the most common benign (noncancerous) tumor of the skin. Hemangiomas may be present at birth (faint red mark) or may appear in the first months after birth.
A hemangioma is also known as a port wine stain, strawberry hemangioma, and salmon patch. About 60 percent of hemangiomas occur in the head or neck area. Hemangiomas occur at least three times more often in females than in males. Most will continue to grow for the first six to 12 months of life before beginning to shrink.
Hemangiomas can be:
- Capillary – forming on the skin’s top layer
- Cavernous – embedded in the skin’s deep layers
Hemangiomas have three stages:
- Proliferation – grows from a faint red mark to full size
- Resting – no change
- Involution – mark slowly disappears
The whole process can take up to several years.
A vascular malformation is another type of birthmark, or congenital (present at birth) growth, made up of arteries, veins, capillaries, or lymphatic vessels.
There are several different types of malformations and they are named according to which type of blood vessel is predominantly affected. A vascular malformation is also known as lymphangioma, arteriovenous malformation, and vascular gigantism.
There are 5 types of vascular malformations. They are:
- Port wine stains (red or purple in color)
- Venous malformations
- Lymphatic malformations
- Arteriovenous malformations
- Mixed malformations, a combination of any of the other types