Baby Haemangioma: As Cute As A Strawberry
The NHS website explains: ‘About one in every ten babies has a haemangioma. They are more common in girls, in premature babies, low birth weight babies and multiple births, such as twins.’
Beatrice is a girl, tick. Beatrice was premature, tick. Beatrice had a slightly low birth weight, tick. AND, guess what, she is a twin…tick. Bingo. Full house. So, I guess it was no surprise that she started developing a haemangioma.
When Beatrice was born all I can remember thinking was that she had the cutest little face and the biggest blue eyes. Yes, she was a little crumpled and covered in a strange substance, but she had been sharing a watery home with her twin brother for 8 months…so no surprise really. To us, her and her brother Francis were perfect.
Baby haemangioma. ‘A haemangioma is a collection of small blood vessels that form a lump under the skin. They are sometimes called ‘strawberry marks’ because the surface of a haemangioma may look a bit like the surface of a strawberry’ (NHS Website). You can see the beginning of the strawberry mark here on Beatrice’s right nostril. It starts as a tiny red mark, but will then grow rapidly over the next few months.
What is a Haemangioma?
A haemangioma is a collection of small blood vessels that form a lump under the skin. As it creates a red, bumpy effect they are more commonly referred to as ‘strawberry marks’. Although not obvious at first, once they appear, a haemangioma will grow rapidly for the first three months. It is uncommon for a haemangioma to grow after 6-10 months of age, when it will have a ‘rest period’ before starting to shrink. They can grow anywhere on the body, but are very common on the face and neck.
We noticed straight away that Beatrice had a tiny pinkish mark along her right nostril, but we just assumed it was a small birth mark. It looked quite cute actually. It made her unique.
However, as the first few weeks went by, we noticed that this tiny pink mark began to grow and change in colour. At her 6 week check up our doctor noticed it straight away and remarked: ‘Oh, she has a strawberry’.
A strawberry? A what?
We were completely unaware of what this was and what it would mean for Beatrice. The doctor, who happened to be specialised in dermatology, explained that we should be prepared for it to grow quite rapidly in size over the next few weeks, with the reassurance that it will eventually disappear in time.