Healthy Living: New guidelines to address common childhood birthmark

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The American Academy of Pediatrics has come out with new guidelines to address a common baby birthmark known as infantile hemangiomas.

You may have heard of them referred to as a 'strawberry' birthmark.  Hemangiomas, which impact about 5% of babies according to the AAP, look like rubbery, bumpy red marks on the skin and in most cases go away on their own over time.

In the past, the medical community has taken a relatively hands-off approach with treatment for hemangiomas.  However, researchers who were involved in developing the new guidelines now say for some hemangiomas, it's better to intervene early in order to prevent complications later in life.

The most high-risk hemangioma's on the face are those around the eyes, nose, mouth, chin and neck area.  If left untreated, doctors say those have the potential to impact how babies see, eat and breath.

study  released by the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends treating problematic hemangiomas by one month of age.  Primarily because they found hemangiomas grow most rapidly between one and three months of age.  The hope is by intervening, it will keep the hemagioma from growing or causing other associated medical complications.

The AAP also offered guidelines on the best treatments for hemangiomas, including the use of beta-blockers, oral steroids and topical medications.  Surgery is only recommended in rare cases.

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