What Is Hemangioma?

A hemangioma is a non-cancerous (benign) tumor caused by abnormal growth of blood vessels. Hemangiomas can occur anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found on the face and neck. While they can be present at birth, hemangiomas more often appear during the first six months of life.

There are two types of hemangiomas:

Capillary hemangiomas are in the outer layers of the skin. They are often called “strawberry birthmarks.”

Cavernous hemangiomas are in the deeper layers of the skin or around the eye.

Capillary hemangiomas can be on the eyelids, the surface of the eye, or in the eye socket. When that happens, the hemangioma may interfere with the normal development of the eye. It can also lead to vision problems, including amblyopia and glaucoma.

Hemangiomas gradually disappear over time. Half of hemangiomas disappear by age five, and 90% (9 out of 10) are gone by age nine.