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What Are Vascular Anomalies?

Vascular anomalies are birthmarks of the skin that are made up of various kinds of blood vessels and are characterized by shades of red or purple. They may be raised or flat. These birthmarks are classified into two major groups:

  • Hemangiomas (or vascular tumors that grow) typically appear shortly after birth, undergo a period of rapid growth, and shrink during childhood.
  • Vascular malformations are usually present in the newborn and “grow” with the infant. Sometimes they actually expand (with infection, puberty, or pregnancy).

Physicians can tell the difference between a hemangioma and a vascular malformation through taking a thorough history and physical exam of the child. Radiographic studies and biopsies are rarely needed to help in the diagnosis.

Last Update
December 30, 2010
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Last Update
December 30, 2010
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