Hemangioma originally described any vascular tumor-like structure, whether it was present at or around birth or appeared later in life. Mulliken et al. categorized these conditions into two families: one of self-involuting tumors, growing lesions that eventually disappear, and another of malformations, enlarged or abnormal vessels present at birth and essentially permanent. The importance of this distinction is that it makes it possible for early-in-life differentiation between lesions that will resolve versus those that are permanent.
Signs and symptoms : If they are on the surface of the skin, they are reminiscent of a ripe strawberry (hence, they are sometimes referred to as "strawberry hemangiomas"). If they are just under the skin they present as a bluish swelling. Sometimes they grow in internal organs such as the liver, larynx, or small and large intestines.In most cases, hemangiomas will disappear over time. Some are formed during gestation and are called congenital hemangiomas; the most common (infantile hemangiomas) appear during the first few weeks of life.
Causes : The cause of hemangioma is currently unknown; however, several studies have suggested the importance of estrogen signaling in hemangioma proliferation. In 2007, a paper from the Stanford Children's Surgical Laboratory revealed that localized soft tissue hypoxia coupled with increased circulating estrogen after birth may be the stimulus.
Statistics : In our study of lobular capillary hemangiomas, cutaneous lesions accounted for 86%, with mucosal lesions representing only 12% of cases. Seven cases were excluded (one was intravascular, two were subcutaneous, and in 4 the location was not specified). Overall, male patients outnumbered female patients. The peak incidence for cutaneous lobular capillary hemangiomas was found in the second decade of life. The most common cutaneous sites were the trunk, upper extremities, and head. Mucosal lesions were primarily seen on the lips, gingiva, and tongue, and these affected females more than males by a ratio of 2:1, most commonly in the fourth decade of life.