Present at birth, vascular malformations (also called birthmarks) are noncancerous growths of blood vessels. Sometimes, they may not be seen for months or weeks after birth, but they grow slowly throughout life. The cause of vascular malformations often isn’t known, they may even be inherited in some families. There are five types:
Treatment will depend on symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. If the growth is large, a team of doctors may be required, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and other specialists. Treatments may include:
Vascular malformations don’t shrink or go away without treatment. Patients should see a craniofacial doctor with experience in treating vascular malformations. Noticeable vascular malformations can cause psychological and social issues. Support groups can help you, your child, and your family. Ask your child’s healthcare provider about support groups in your area.