One of my little gals has a strawberry hemangioma. Actually, she has two. One on her neck, and the second one is cavernous on her hairline. As her mom, I know they are there and I monitor them, but I don’t “see” them. It’s a non-issue for me. It’s not until someone else points them out that I remember they are there.
We went to a birthday party today and A sat down with the other kids to have cake and sing Happy Birthday. The girls on either side of her asked me what was on her neck. I told them that is where an angel kissed her. They were birthmarks that will eventually go away. They were satisfied with that answer. It’s kind of cool how kids will ask what they are thinking. And in this situation, I gave them the answer and they all went on to enjoy the cake.
When they first appeared it was quite a shock. I won’t lie. I saw this little red mark that began to grow and grow and grow. It was hard not to go online to see what the tumor could grow into. I think I did it twice and then I had enough.
At first it was hard to hear comments from passerby or see their looks from afar, especially adults. When the girls were really small and they’d had enough of being at the store, they would cry and scream and carry on. The hemangioma would turn bright red. Store employees would ask if she had hurt herself or had fallen. No, I’d reply. It’s just her birthmark, it’s nothing. Combine A’s hemangioma with C’s tiara — we were quite the sight. And then I’d pray they wouldn’t ask any more questions that would delay me in removing two screaming girlies from their establishment.
If you’ve discovered this post because you’re researching strawberry hemangiomas, I want to share with you that they do eventually go away. In fact ours are turning “gray” and losing some of their redness. Her hair is covering up the one on her head, and I am really debating on whether or not to give her a haircut. I am confident they will be greatly reduced by they time she gets to kindergarten.
We’ve had them checked twice by the pediatric dermatologists at our local children’s hospital and they’ve told us that they’ll treat them if they pose a health threat to her breathing or sight (they don’t) or if she begins to notice them and starts picking at them. Now that she and her sister are in the grabbing/wrestling/punching/kicking toddler phase, that’s something to watch out for. The cavernous hemangioma might need a little cosmetic surgery done to clean up the extra skin…maybe I can go in and have some work done too?
Now that A is beginning to talk more she’ll be able to pick up on how I describe her marks and hopefully she’ll be able to explain what they are and diffuse any situation that may arise. I’m pretty confident in that prediction — just before we cut the cake the birthday girl got up from her seat at the head of the table to do something and A marched right over and sat in her chair. Her toddler teacher has told me she has leadership tendencies…
The bottomline on hemangiomas:
- There are no known ways to prevent hemangiomas
- There are no topicals or creams used to treat hemangiomas
- They usually disappear on their own and usually leave behind normal looking skin
- Using the line “She’s been kissed by an angel” really seems to work!
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you might have. And then see a specialist if you think it’s warranted.
Now it’s your turn. Please share in our comments section. Does your child have a strawberry hemangioma? If so, what do you tell people about it? When you were a child did you have one? What do you remember about having it? Do you have any marks on your skin from them?