A Hemangioma or Blood sponge is a benign growth, about the causes of which little is known. Any treatment methods are versatile.
A superficial hemangioma of the skin or mucous membrane manifests itself primarily as bumps or bluish spots on the skin.
At the Hemangioma it is an embryonic, mostly benign tumor. The hemangioma is also called Blood sponge or as Strawberry stain designated. The hemangioma is the most common tumor that can be observed in childhood.
In the majority of cases, the blood sponge is found in the neck or head area, but blood sponges on internal organs (such as the liver) are also possible. Up to ten percent of newborns in Germany are affected by a blood sponge; The hemangioma is statistically more common in girls than in boys.
If a hemangioma is present over a large area or if it covers a large part of an extremity, then one speaks of hemangiomatosis in medicine. There are also different forms of hemangioma. There is, for example, the cavernous or the capillary hemangioma.
The causes that lead to a Hemangioma lead have not yet been clarified in medicine. A blood sponge forms as part of a growth or new formation of blood vessels; Not much is known about the cause of such a new formation either.
Hereditary factors that contribute to the development of a blood sponge in a newborn are discussed; thus a susceptibility to a blood sponge is possibly passed on by heredity.
A superficial hemangioma of the skin or mucous membrane manifests itself primarily as bumps or bluish spots on the skin. The blue color increases the deeper the blood sponge sits under the skin surface. Hemangiomas in particular deep down can resemble a bruise. A blood sponge reaches a size of a few millimeters to a few centimeters.
The size may increase over time before the hemangioma shrinks and disappears completely after a few months or even years. Blood sponges usually appear shortly after birth. After a few weeks they are fully developed and can be clearly diagnosed. They can occur in different parts of the body, but mainly develop on the face, torso and limbs.
Hemangiomas are typically symptom-free. However, if they occur in the eyelid area, visual problems and problems opening the eye can occur. Blood sponges in the armpits or in a fold of skin are usually tender and painful to the touch.
Occasionally there is bleeding or inflammation of the affected skin. Very rarely a blood sponge can cause circulatory disorders. A large hemangioma can produce the symptoms of heart failure and significantly reduce the person's quality of life.
A Hemangioma usually appears as a discoloration that appears reddish to bluish. In about a third of children who are affected by a blood sponge, this vascular abnormality shows up at birth. In the remaining cases, the hemangioma usually develops during the first four weeks of life.
As a rule, a blood sponge does not cause symptoms; For example, a blood sponge on the internal organs is often not discovered at all. Often a blood sponge forms back on its own. In these cases, a distinction is made between a growth phase, a standstill phase and a regression phase:
The growth phase of a blood sponge lasts up to 9 months on average, while the standstill phase is variable. The regression phase in a hemangioma often ends when a child is 9 years old.
Occasionally, complications such as pain or bleeding can occur with a rapidly growing hemangioma.
Since the hemangioma is a tumor, the various symptoms and complications of cancer can usually occur with it. In most cases, however, it is a benign tumor, so that there is no reduction in the patient's life expectancy. As a rule, patients suffer from reddened skin and stains from the hemangioma.
The reddening of the skin can influence the aesthetics and appearance of the person concerned and often lead to inferiority complexes or a reduced self-esteem. It can also lead to depression and other psychological complaints that increase the patient's life and everyday life. It is not uncommon for pain and bleeding to occur in the affected areas, which can reduce the patient's quality of life.
Pain can lead to difficulty sleeping, especially at night. In many cases, the hemangioma only develops in children and usually heals on its own, so that there are no symptoms in adulthood. Scars may develop during treatment. However, there are no further complications.
Hemangioma should always be treated by a doctor. Although it is a benign growth, it should be removed as it can turn into a malignant tumor. An early diagnosis and treatment always has a positive effect on the further course of the disease and can prevent complications. The affected person should see a doctor if the hemangioma causes reddening of the skin. These can occur in different places. Furthermore, fire marks can also indicate the hemangioma. If the symptoms arise without a particular reason and persist over a longer period of time, a visit to a doctor is very advisable.
As a rule, a general practitioner or a dermatologist can be seen directly in the case of a hemangioma. Whether treatment is necessary depends on the severity of the hemangioma and cannot generally be predicted. In most cases, however, the course of the disease is positive and there are no particular complications.
As a Blood sponge often regresses independently, in many cases no therapy is necessary. A hemangioma can be treated, for example, if the person concerned wishes it for cosmetic reasons (orif requested by parents whose child has a blood sponge).
One way to treat a hemangioma is through laser therapy. For example, a very small and flat hemangioma can also be treated as part of cold therapy, known as cryotherapy. Cold is used to remove a blood sponge. However, the cryotherapy method has the disadvantage that the treatment can result in scars.
Experts often advise against having an operation to remove a blood sponge. However, an operation can be useful if other methods could not be used successfully or if the problem is a rapidly growing hemangioma that threatens to impair the function of other body structures (such as a blood sponge in the immediate vicinity of the eyes).
In some cases it can also be useful to treat a blood sponge with medication; For example, if a person has multiple blood sponges or has hemangiomatosis. Corticosteroids are used here, for example. Such treatment usually lasts for several weeks.
The blood sponge is usually treated in such a way that the drug is dosed very high at the beginning of the therapy and the dose is reduced during the course of treatment. In complicated cases, a blood sponge can also be treated with beta blockers.
One Blood sponge It is not possible to prevent it in principle, as too little is known about the mechanisms underlying a hemangioma and the causes.
Follow-up care for hemangiomas is based on the previous therapy. If it is a hemangioma that has been surgically removed due to its location or extent, the usual follow-up care must be observed after an operation. This includes regular outpatient wound control and an examination to determine whether the hemangioma has been completely removed.
In the acute aftercare, there is also drug support with painkillers. In the case of non-surgical follow-up and major hemangiomas, treatment with propranolol is monitored by a general practitioner or pediatrician. At the same time it is checked whether the propranolol is working and the hemangioma regresses. Follow-up care includes checking whether the dosage of propranolol is sufficient and whether the patient is still correctly adjusted.
This avoids over- or underdosing. Since propranolol is a beta-blocker for cardiovascular diseases, regular monitoring is necessary. Follow-up care with propranolol takes about six months to a year. If, due to the size and location of the hemangioma, neither surgical follow-up nor propranolol treatment is carried out, the hemangioma usually regresses on its own. Nevertheless, this process should be accompanied by a general practitioner follow-up to rule out enlargement or complications during regression.
Smaller blood sponges are usually harmless and resolve by themselves after a while. In children, however, the tumor must be observed very closely. If the hemangioma does not resolve even after several months or even increases in size, it is necessary to see a doctor. If it is a benign blood sponge, it does not have to be removed. At some point, however, the child will be amazed at the tumor and may also suffer emotionally from it. Then either surgical intervention comes into question or - if an operation is too risky - the child must at least be explained to the child what the sponge is all about.
The regression of a hemangioma can be promoted by various means from nature. Marigold and cypress, for example, but also Swedish herbs and houseleek have proven themselves. A suitable remedy from homeopathy is the mountain rue called Abrotanum. The use of these agents should definitely be discussed with the doctor. This may even call in an experienced alternative practitioner. Conservative treatment is always required if the blood spongy causes complications.