Mayo Clinic Minute: What is this bright red birthmark on my baby?

Some babies can develop bright red birthmarks called hemangiomas. Dr. Megha Tollefson, a Mayo Clinic pediatric dermatologist, says they’re technically tumors, but parents shouldn’t let that name or their stark appearance worry them.

They’re more common among babies born preterm. And they can appear anywhere on the body, but commonly involve the head and neck areas. Another feature that might alarm parents is the rapid rate of growth. Dr. Tollefson says hemangiomas will continue to grow until children are about 6 to 9 months old. At that point, they typically stabilize, then go away slowly.

Treatment usually isn’t needed. However, Dr. Tollefson says if the hemangioma interferes with vision, other functions, has the potential to be cosmetically disfiguring, or is large or growing rapidly, babies should be evaluated for treatment.
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