Sunday, February 15, 2009

An angel kiss...

Long long ago, one night Sophia was "kissed" by an angel!!! Who wouldn't kiss this precious little baby girl??

Many of you have probably wondered about the "red" mark on her face? What is it? Will it go away? Is it a birthmark?

I thought I would blog about our little "Angel kiss" as I like to call it. For those of you medically savvy people, you will enjoy this blog... others, you might find it a bit dry and boring!! Oh well, enjoy!

Sophia has a "hemangioma" on the right side of her face. She was not born with it. In fact, hemangioma's typically present themselves in the first 7-10 days of an infant's life. It is a type of vascular anomaly (birthmark), however it will go away (unlike many birthmarks). It is a benign tumor of endotheilial cells that normally line the blood vessels. The cells multiply at a rapid rate.

Infant hemangiomas have a fairly predictable pattern of growth. They grow over the first 6-12 months, then begin involuting (shrinking) which can take another year or two. The red or "strawberry" color will go away as well. It will never regrow after it involutes.

Hemangiomas are the most common benign tumor in infants. Between 4-10% of Caucasian infants have at least 1 hemangioma. They are 3-5x more common in females than in males, especially fair-skinned girls (like our little princess). They are rare in other nationalities.

They still do not know the cause of hemangiomas. They are usually not hereditary. They can not be prevented. 60% of all hemangiomas occur in the head and neck area. 25% in the trunk and 15% in the arms and legs. 80% usually just grow as a single tumor.

There is no treatment for a superficial hemangioma as in Sophia's case. They will go away on their own... you just have to let Mother Nature run her course!

So, hopefully all of your questions have been answered. I had never heard of a hemangioma before this occurred. Who knew?

Allyson and Sophia (our angel kissed princess)


Steffany said...

Interesting! Thanks for filling us in! To be honest, I hadn't even noticed it in the pictures yet!

Erin A. said...

I'm not sure if it was technically a hemangioma, but I had an "angel kiss" when I was young too (it's faded but still there). Mom always told me it was shaped like a "J" for Jesus. A fact that I would proudly explain anytime anyone asked about it. :)

lt said...

My son (2 in May) has a hemangioma on his nose. It showed up after a few days and stayed flat for weeks...until around 5-6 weeks when it started to grow and become raised until it completely overtook the normal shape of his nose. Please consider getting a second opinion for your daughter's hemangioma. Looking back, I feel we were given false hope that the hemagioma could remain flat and eventually disappear. At this point, there is zero chance that my son will not need at least one surgery to remove excess skin once the hemangioma recedes. My son is currently on a drug called propranolol that has helped reduce the size of his hemangioma by about 50%. Please look into all of the options for your beautiful daughter. Best wishes from Sacramento, CA.