If you‘ve had children, chances are you’ve heard of a hemangioma. The fancy name may have sounded scary, but then you might have felt better knowing it was simply a common, benign, vascular tumor otherwise known as a birthmark (1).

Birthmarks affect less than 20 percent of infants and usually to pre-term birth white females born to women who are older in maternal age (1). The tumors grow for about a year and almost never cause complications (1). They later tend to disappear (1).

In rare cases, a birthmark may appear in the subglttic larynx (2). It won’t be noted at birth, but as it enlarges a crouplike illness can develop and treatment may be needed to avoid obstruction of the airway from occurring (2). Usually this is not serious (2).


1. Bukowinski AT, Ryan MA, Slymen DJ, Sevick CJ, Alcaraz JE, Smith TC. Haemangiomas and associated congenital malformations in a large population-based sample of infants. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol 2008;22:520-9.
2. Kontzoglou G, Triaridis S, Noussios G, Valeri R, Nanas C. Subglottic hemangioma treated with interferon alpha 2A. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg 2002;56:83-5.

Published by David Despain, MS, CFS

David is a science and health writer living on Long Island, New York. He's written for a variety of publications including Scientific American, Outside Online, the American Society for Nutrition's (ASN) Nutrition Notes Daily, and Institute of Food Technologists' (IFT) Food Technology magazine and Live! blog. He's also covered new findings reported at scientific meetings including Experimental Biology, AAAS, AOCS, CASW, Sigma Xi, IFT, and others on his personal blog "Evolving Health." David is also an active member of organizations including the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the American Society for Nutrition, the Institute of Food Technologists, and the National Audubon Society. David has a master's degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, and a bachelor's degree in English from University of Illinois at Springfield. He also earned his Certified Food Scientist credential from the Institute of Food Technologists.

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