The term “vascular birthmark” includes hemangiomas and malformations. It is estimated that approximately 10% of births have a vascular birthmark – that′s about 400,000 children per year in the United States alone.
Of these, approximately 30% – nearly 120,000 children born each year – will have a vascular birthmark that should be evaluated by a specialist. While hemangiomas and malformations are related, and often confused, they are very different in their natural history and in the options for treatment.
“Leave it alone, it will go away” is commonly the advice given to parents of a child with a vascular birthmark. This approach is no longer universally acceptable because it does not allow for the major diagnostic differences and therapeutic options for the different types of lesions. We are at an exciting time in medical history when our knowledge, technological advances and clinical experience have come together to effect changes in the management of these birthmarks.
The emotional and physical consequences suffered by families and patients, some of whom have waited decades for their lesions to “go away”, are no longer necessary.
The Hemangioma Treatment Foundation is here to give those afflicted with these birthmarks hope for a better life.