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Hemangioma – Types of Birthmarks

February 10, 2022


Birthmarks vary dramatically. There are vascular birthmarks which are their own field of birthmarks and there are the other larger array of birthmarks which can be caused by skin cells rather than vascular components. Vascular birthmarks fall into their own category. They have their own classifications. These are: hemangiomas (which have their own classifications within themselves), venous malformations, lymphatic malformations, arteriovenous, malformations, and mixed malformations like you would have in klippel trenaunay syndrome. The other types of birthmarks you have (which are more cutaneous-type birthmarks) can be epidermal nevi, they can be melanocytic, they can be mixed, hamartomas – there a ton of different ones that grow up as birthmarks. Anything that you have at birth that’s a mark is considered a birthmark. They all have their own potential of growing into different things. The epidermal or cutaneous types are the ones where you would actually want to monitor over time or cut out because they do have potential of turning into a cancer in the future. The vascular birthmarks don’t, but they have their own series of problems as they grow. For example, you can have a port-wine stain on your face right in this region over here, and without knowing it or without seeing it at birth, the port-wine stain can actually be growing into the brain itself as part of a syndrome. These are things to be aware of. You could have a port-wine stain or a capillary malformation along the lower part of the face. Again, without knowing it, you could have growth in the airway or other areas that were not apparent at birth. The way to know is to see a specialist. Sometimes the specialist can do diagnostics while the baby is in utero. You can see some very large birthmarks. Otherwise, at birth you would take them to see a vascular birthmark specialists, of which there are not that many. Most vascular birthmarks are with you at birth. We try to define them differently when we’re taking our board examinations as doctors, as to if they are there before birth, at birth, or they’re seen after birth. In general, it’s a birthmark, they’re there at birth to different extents and the different types of birthmarks grow at different extents. They each have their own characteristics, they each have their own growth potential and they each are treated completely, completely differently.

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