Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Skin haemangioma is a lesion which is made up of thick and vertically elevated blood vessels which protrude out from the skin surface. The blood vessels are normally dilated in nature.
Formation of abnormal type of blood vessels due to break up in communication between the proteins in connective tissues and muscle cells which are beneath the epidermis layer of skin, leads to haemangioma.
Haemangioma Types and Symptoms
There are free types of haemangioma:
- Deep type is identified by a spongy type of skin mass that develops on skin surfaces like back (normally near to the shoulder areas), chest and other upper parts of the body. The swelling is filled with bad blood and hence the swelling is red/blue in appearance.
- Strawberry type of haemangioma appears like a red swollen spot in facial, neck and other skin areas of the infant. The mass of blood clotted lesion consists of many blood vessels that appear to be closely packed with each other, forming knots.
- Compound type of haemangioma consists of surface discoloration as well as symptoms of deep type. It is infectious by nature and spreads to the other parts of skin. It shows the symptoms of both strawberry as well as deep type.
In many children it appears in the chin area in the form of red lesions which spread over from the ear regions till the lower chin and neck. These lesions sometimes resemble beard type of spread.
- Haemangioma appears on lips, chin and chest regions. They lead to swelling of lips sometimes accompanied by fluid formation.
- The symptoms may also appear as red patches in the lower back and rectum region.
Causes and Diagnosis of Haemangioma
There are various types of diagnosis for determining the exact causes of haemangioma among infants and kids. Some of the most prominent causes are:
- Malformation of capillary vessels in the regions close to skin. They lead to improper distribution of blood vessels that clot at one point. The pressure on these cells leads to inflammation and swelling.
- Malformation of veins that distribute blood to the skin layers is another cause for haemangioma. It leads to thickening of veins which may protrude to the external surface, forming inflammations, blisters and bumps.
- Haemangioma can appear in segmented forms in the cheek regions and near the nasal areas. Such types are normally observed in children between 2 and 3 years of age.
Diagnosis involves biopsy, blood tests, scanning and tissue culturing. Tests determine the nature of blood flow within the veins.
- If the flow rate is high, the focus will be mainly on the healing of veins and arteries.
- In cases of moderate (normal) blood flow the treatment will be focussed on reduction of inflammation and healing of skin areas affected by the disorder.
- In case of low blood flow rates the treatment will mainly focus on rectifying the malformation of veins.
Skin Haemangioma Treatment
When the symptoms of haemangioma lead to bleeding, they could result in formation of skin ulcers and skin infections. Sometimes they may also result in malfunction of specific organ like chewing (when the symptoms appear in the chin region), excretion (when the symptoms appear in the skin around rectum) etc.
The symptoms may become infectious and spread to the other parts of body skin. In such cases treatments are suggested by dermatologists in order to heal the disorder.
- Steroid shots
Medical procedures involve steroid shots that are administered by qualified doctors in hospitals. They heal the symptoms and eliminate the disorder from roots. However you need to check out about the possible side effects they might have on the infant with your doctor before proceeding with this type of treatment.
In the initial stages the tactile start getting soft. The growth and spread of symptoms start decreasing after 9 to 10 days of shots. Then a diagnosis is performed again for determining the current status and future course of medication. Possible side effects could be cushingoid or other forms of skin infection.
- Alfa2A shots
Administering of drug called Alfa2A (Interferon) in the form of shots is another medical treatment form. The aim is to prevent the trapping of haemangioma platelet by the inhibition of promoter cells and stimulation of endothelial cells.
It could give positive results with the reduction and elimination of symptoms over a period of time after the prescribed dosage by the doctor.
Possible side effects are frequent feverish conditions, freezing of skin layers and retinal issues. However these side effects could be healed with the help of proper treatments.
Surgery is recommended only in cases of chronic symptoms which do not heal with medications.
The surgeon removes the tissues forming haemangioma and performs a cosmetic rectification on the affected regions.
Possible side effects are warping of operated parts and internal injuries which may lead to other types of skin infections.
Nature of Haemangioma Skin Disease
- It is a highly unpredictable form of skin disorder which may propagate to other parts of skin from the affected zones. According to dermatologists, treatments and surgical methods could provide relief over long period of time, but they are also accompanied with probability of side effects.
- Infection is one of the main concerns with haemangioma which could result in multiple skin disorders. Hence early detection and treatment is recommended to get effective and long lasting cure.
Skin Haemangioma Histology
Haemangioma skin disorder affected infants need post treatment skin care which help in healing of scars and other visible signs left over by the disorder.
Even though the causes have been attributed to malfunctioning of veins and blood vessels, the actual root cause for deep skin haemangioma is still undetermined. Genetic disorder is considered to be one of such root cause.
Post treatment haemangioma dry skin symptoms could be healed with natural treatments with decoctions of herbs like gooseberry, Neem leaves, basil leaves etc.
You need to contact your skin specialist before administering such treatments to your infant at home.