Beatrice’s Haemangioma Story

Beatrice’s Haemangioma Story

Baby Haemangioma

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.

cropped-first-pic-of-twins.jpeg

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.

 

strawberry

Baby haemangiomas will grow rapidly in the first few months. Around 6-10 months it will have a ‘rest period’ and then will begin to shrink. It is important to keep finger nails short and smooth to avoid damaging the skin of the haemangioma.

 

How Do You Treat A Haemangioma?

As haemangiomas eventually disappear in time, treatment is not usually needed. The skin is extremely delicate from the protruding blood vessels so it just needs looking after. It’s important to make sure that finger nails are kept short and smooth to avoid any potential damage to the skin. (I think it is necessary to note that if a haemangioma is knocked and begins to bleed, medical assistance should be sought after as it will most likely bleed profusely).

However, in cases like Beatrice’s, extra intervention was required.

As the weeks went by, we noticed that not only was the mark growing outwards, but actually inside her nostril too. This concerned us greatly as it seemed to be closing it over. This threw us newbie parents into a state of panic as young babies are only able to breathe through their noses…and one of Beatrice’s was closing over…! Scary.

Fortunately, our doctor assisted us in getting treatment quite quickly. Although we have been referred to the hospital (and am awaiting for the appointment), we have been able to start treatment now. We have been prescribed a beta-blocker (which have shown to shrink haemangiomas) to apply to the strawberry twice a day. We began her treatment at the beginning of this year. Although it will be many months before real improvements will be obvious, we feel really reassured that Beatrice has started her treatment.

haemangioma awareness

Haemangiomas normally disappear by the age of 7 years of age and therefore do not require treatment. There are some cases however where treatment is needed due to the placement of the mark.

 

 Living With A Haemangioma

Having a child with a haemangioma has been an interesting experience to say the least. Beatrice has the most fabulously fierce personality. She completely knows her own mind and will be sure to let you know what she wants! (which is so interesting as her brother is the complete opposite: placid and calm).

I have never wanted her strawberry to define her. Yet when people meet her for the first time, it is an elephant in the room. You feel obliged to explain what it is as you see people’s eyes curiously scan over her bumpy, red mark. I don’t know if this sounds weird but I feel more awkward not mentioning it and then people feeling a little unsure whether to mention it themselves. So I find it easier to say what it is so it’s out there. It’s a strange feeling of making others feel at ease. Once it’s mentioned people are obviously very understanding and I think appreciate you doing so.

The oddest experience I have had with Beatrice’s mark is having strangers approach me in the street to ask what it is. Yes. You read that right. Odd, isn’t it? I think so anyway. I used to be really sensitive about it but have learnt to let it go over my head. I think people are just genuinely intrigued by it. I guess this also highlights although haemangiomas are quite common, not many people are aware of them. If we can use this as an opportunity to help educate people about them then I guess we will have done a good job.

haemangioma awareness

We do not notice the strawberry mark anymore. We only see her beautiful, cute little face with her gorgeous blue eyes. Although I guess her haemangioma makes her fabulously unique.

 

What Are Your Experiences Of Haemangiomas?

Do you have a child with a haemangioma? Are your experiences similar to ours, or do they differ? We would love to hear from you. Get in touch using the comments box below.

If you are interested in sharing your story on our blog please get in touch via our Contact page. You can follow our guests’ experiences of haemangiomas in our As Cute As A Strawberry section. Make sure you never miss a haemangioma post by signing up to our Foxfairy Mail.

 

 

Follow:

46 Comments

  1. Laura Harding
    February 5, 2017 / 11:05 am

    Hey guys,

    Great read.

    I had a large haemangioma on my chest growing up I called it a Strawberry (didn’t know it had a name, until now!) like Beatrices it was red and protruded quite somewhat, but now it’s completely flat and bearly noticeable.

    My daughter Evie was also born with one on her side, it has faded dramatically over the last 2 years.

    Hope Beatrices treatment goes well, I look forward to reading more updates!

    Finally, congratulations on your twinnys, they are beautiful! Xx

    • February 5, 2017 / 11:07 am

      Hi Laura, thanks for getting in touch. Wow that’s really interesting to hear your experiences. I had never heard of it until now! I will make sure to update on how it goes. Thanks so much for your lovely comment 😊 xx

  2. Anonymous
    February 5, 2017 / 11:26 am

    So well written and as you say you don’t see it only the lovely Beatrice – there will be no elephant in the room with us – of course we will be interested but again her smile shines out so you do see the happy girl she is xx

    • February 5, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Wow thank you very much that is very kind of you to say. Yes I agree with you too xx

  3. Chloe diprose
    February 5, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    My little boy (now 6)had a strawberry mark on the corner of his forehead . People would be so rude and ask me if I’d dropped him all the time, it made me so paranoid! I was so worried about him scratching it or knocking it too so was always extra cautions . I even remember having professional. Any photos done and being asked if I wanted it edited out. I was so furious. It made him unique and was part of him why would I want it edited out
    We where really lucky that it grew quite big for the first 6 months and literally once it stopped it rapidly shrunk the the point of it disappearing by the time he was 16 months old. He has a small blemish now where it was but if you didn’t know he had it you would never know it was there.
    Beatrice is so beautiful and unique and that’s the best way to be 😀💗

    • February 5, 2017 / 2:26 pm

      Hi Chloe, thank so much for getting in touch. I’m sorry that has been your experience. I know what you mean about the paranoia. I can’t believe the edited out comment though??? I’m pleased all is well with your little one. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 xx

  4. Teresa
    February 5, 2017 / 2:51 pm

    Hi my daughter had a strawberry mark on the very top of her forehead. We didn’t notice it changing size until she was nearly 7 weeks old but boy did it grow then!!! She also developed one under the skin right next to it (so no red colour showed it just looked like she had banged her head really badly!!) we were referred and told the same that it would stop growing and then shrink. My daughter is now 8 years old and although it is still there in colour (very pale red) it is flat to her skin and under her hair line so not noticeable.
    I was very nervous about damaging it as she had a older brother who was 3 at the time and loved cuddles with his new baby sister!!! We had a lot of stares from people and lots of “oh how did she do that?” Questions but I just went into auto pilot and explained. Your little one is gorgeous and special and perfect just like they all are!

    • February 5, 2017 / 2:59 pm

      Hi Teresa, thanks so much for sharing your experience. It’s funny how they grow so quickly isn’t it? That’s interesting about the one next to it, I haven’t heard of that where it’s not red in colour. Awwww bless your little boy wanting cuddles with his little sister! So cute. But yes I can imagine that would have been a little nerve racking ha xx thank you for your lovely message xxx

  5. February 6, 2017 / 4:38 am

    My daughter has a giant spot in the back of her calf that is always catching people eyes. It has lightened since she had gotten older but a small amount people have asked the rudest questions! What’s wrong with her, did she get hurt, was she left alone (really), and the list goes on. Sole people absolutely love it, like me. I think it is her special mark that makes Sloan, Sloan. I am actually getting a tattoo on the back of my leg in the same place of a vintage bumble bee in honor of her (her nickname is bumble). All in all, I embrace the beauty. You have one beautiful little lady and she has so much love♥

    • February 6, 2017 / 5:06 am

      Hi there, thanks for getting in touch. It’s interesting to hear how others react. Some people are really naive. Love the tattoo idea!! Thank you for your lovely message xx

  6. February 6, 2017 / 7:26 pm

    This is a very interesting post. I have seen this before but I didn’t know that they went away by themselves or that they are prevalent in twins. I hope the treatment helps improve the nostril closure really quickly.

    • February 6, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Hi there, thank you so much for reading. I didn’t know before Beatrice. Thank you for your best wishes xx

  7. Hannah
    February 7, 2017 / 5:06 am

    Interesting read. I didn’t know they were more common in girls (check, but I’m missing all the other traits) or that they bleed profusely when knocked.
    I had one on my chest/tummy area as a child, not sure if my parents got any negative comments from it. I know it wasn’t in a prevelent place like the nose where it could be knocked so easily or was so instantly visible (though I understand that’s not a concern to you, and she’s a gorgeous smiley baby) and that there is an important reason behind the treatment, but if it’s any reassurance I loved mine when I was growing up. I was really attached to it. It didn’t fade until my mid-teens, although I still have a few ‘speckles’ and my parents were really positive about it which probably helped. They always said how special it was and how uncommon it was, so they were really great.
    I hope you don’t read this in a negative way, it’s just to say that if it were not causing such a beautiful little sweetheart breathing problems that it’s something she could proudly show off. i don’t know what the treatment would be, I never had any, but if it isn’t totally removed just keep rising above the ignorance and let her know how special she is to have one. Remind her how beautiful she is and let it be part of her early confidence. Good luck, with the treatment though, I hope she’s back to full breathing soon. They’re both gorgeous children.

    • February 7, 2017 / 6:38 am

      Hi there, thanks so much for getting in touch. That’s great and completely get what you mean about being attached to it and it making you unique. I actually think if it does disappear I will miss it a bit as it is how she is. Thank you for such a kind message and taking the time to read it xx

  8. adriana
    February 7, 2017 / 8:12 am

    Hi,
    My Don had one on the dode of his neck, only in summer it was visuele, and only once i remember an older lady who panicked and told me he was stung, i thought that was strange because he was in the pram, facing me all the time so how did i not notice … I looked and then realized it was the “strawberry“
    I did Not know however that it was so delicate and that it could bleed so bad, so die not have that stress. It now has gone flat and faded, he is 7 years old.
    Your twins are both beautifull!

    • February 7, 2017 / 9:56 pm

      Hi there, thanks so much for your message and sharing your story. Yes people think Beatrice has hurt herself sometimes too. Thank you for reading xxx

  9. Zoe
    February 7, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    It’s nice to hear someone experiencing the day to day things I have to cope with too. I’m a mum to 18month old twins, twin 1 Eryn developed her strawberry birthmark about 5 weeks after she was born. Hers is on the right side of her forehead and is very large. I’ve had numerous people approach me asking what it was even had a child comment “ergh she’s got a grape on her head”. I’ve had to push hard with our doctors to get some advice on her birthmark as there isn’t a lot of information regarding them. Unfortunately we had an incident where it bleed terribly and the doctor finally referred us to Great Ormond Street Hospital where we go every 6 months. When we had our first consultation it had become known that not only did she have the protruding birthmark on her head but that she also had a further 6 pin prick birthmarks across her body. Like you we were prescribed the beta blocker but to date we have found has not made much of a difference (hopefully this won’t be the same case for you!) going back to the hospital in August so we shall see what the consultant says!

    • February 7, 2017 / 10:00 pm

      Hi there, thanks so much for getting in touch. Yes completely get where you’re coming from. Sorry to hear about the bleeding incident. I really hope your appointment in August goes well xxx

  10. Caitlin
    February 8, 2017 / 5:47 am

    Somehow your lovely baby showed up on my Instagram feed! They are both so darling! I am also a twin mom, and one of my twins has a strawberry birthmark on his back. Unfortunately his started peeling and then cracking and became ulcerated. We took him to the dermatologist who found out that he had a staph infection! Poor little guy! If it happens again they are going to talk about other options to shrink or remove it, but for now i am to slather it with Vaseline multiple times a day. Who knew?? My oldest had one on his hand we never had problems with and you cant even see now! Anyway. Congrats on the lovely twins and thanks for spreading awareness!

    • February 8, 2017 / 5:55 am

      Hi Caitlin, thank you for your lovely message. Wow that’s really interesting about your experiences , I really hope he gets through it ok xx ha yes we’re on Instagram too 😊 bless you thank you for being so kind ❤️️

    • February 8, 2017 / 2:40 pm

      Hi there, thanks for the message, I’m sure I replied to you earlier but it’s saying I haven’t so apologies if this is the second time you get this! I really hope your little one is ok xx I didn’t know about the Vaseline to help. Thank you for your lovely message x

  11. Faye
    February 8, 2017 / 6:28 am

    Hi,
    28 years ago now I had my haemangioma removed from the left side of my face. Mine started out as just a small Strawberry but rapidly took over my face, eventually totally covering the left side of my face from ear to nose. Doctors here didn’t have a clue and my mum was told it’ll disappear by the time I was 7. very long story short after huge fundraising all across the country I went to America for pioneering treatment. 19 holidays as I call them and 23 surgeries later I am only left with a scar which people barely notice. We were told that 90% of haemangiomas will fade in time but the treatment for them here is lacking. My daughter was born 5 months ago with a birthmark on her knee! You’re twins are beautiful, wishing you lots of luck with Beatrice’s treatment xx

    • February 8, 2017 / 2:42 pm

      Wow thank you for sharing all of that, what an experience! Really hope you’re doing ok. Thank you for messaging us and fro your kind comments xx

  12. Amy Kennedy
    February 8, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    Your daughter is beautiful. My youngest daughter has two ‘Strawberries’ . One on her side which is quite large and one just above her eye. The mark by her eye grew so quickly from 4 weeks to 3 months to the point it started growing down by her eyelid. We were referred to the children’s hospital and they gave her some drops to reduce the lump. By the time she was 8 months it had gone down dramatically. She’s now 2 1/5 and it’s nearly gone completely. I remember feeling sad when it first appeared and worried it may affect her in later life. Random people would stop me and ask in the street what was wrong with her face. I was so upset. After a while i stopped caring what people thought and said. Shes my beautiful girl! But the one thing that stays with me and stopped me from worrying was when my oldest daughter who was 4 at the time said to me ‘it’s like she’s been kissed by an angel, it’s her special mark’. And it is her special mark and it’s part of her. I love how children see the world! I wouldn’t change it now 🙂

    • February 8, 2017 / 2:44 pm

      Oh my what a wonderful thought, made me feel quite emotional reading that xx how beautifully put from your daughter ❤️️ thank you for sharing your experience xx

  13. Lucy Kingshott
    February 8, 2017 / 5:54 pm

    Fabulous blog to raise awareness. My twin girl Peony had one in her jaw line / cheek… started to notice it at 9 weeks and like you said she ticked every box! She was put on the beta blocker by great ormond street for 1 year, 3 times a day..Totally disappeared now and when we look back at photos, we forgot how enlarged it really was.
    Did The doctors tell you how they found this medicine to be a cure? Fascinating story of giving it to a boy for his heart condition who also had a haemangioma and it subsequently it shrunk it! Sending big hugs and hope the beta blocker is as successful as it was for us xx

    • February 8, 2017 / 6:00 pm

      Hi Lucy thank you for your lovely message X wow what a great name Peony! I can imagine you do forget after a while. Yes I had heard that sorry, absolutely amazing!!! Thanks for your message xx

    • February 8, 2017 / 8:35 pm

      Hi! Sorry if you’re receiving this reply again, not sure if my last one went through! I can imagine it’s easy to forget the size once it’s gone. Love the name Peony btw! 🙂 thank you for your kind message xx

  14. Mary
    February 23, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Hi there my sister sent me the link to your blog and I felt compelled to comment! My little boy Seb was born prematurely and had two haemangioma’s…one on his leg and one on his head. I was so paranoid about them when people saw , and, like you, felt compelled to explain them as soon as people saw him! Seb is 2.5 years now…his head one has been hidden by hair but he’s recently started to quesion the one on his leg which we tell him is his special kiss mark…it does actually look like a lipstick kiss!
    We’ve since had twins ourselves (tick!)…girls (tick!) ..premature at 28 weeks (tick!) But one year old now and no special kiss marks in sight!
    Congratulations on your gorgeous babies. 🙂

    • February 23, 2017 / 5:28 pm

      Hi Mary, thank you so much for getting in touch. Yes it’s great to hear someone else felt the same as I did! I have never thought about explaining it to them though? Thanks for sharing that with me xxx

  15. Hannah Warner
    March 14, 2017 / 12:24 pm

    I’m so glad I read your blog. I have 5 week old baby girl twins and Elyssia has a haemangioma close to her eye. I also have strangers comment on this and straight away my back goes up, I can’t help it, natural Mother’s response I guess! I shall try and approach it in the same way you do as like you said all I see is my beautiful little girl with her big blue eyes & dark hair and I do not want her defined by it either.
    However the thing I find ironic is that her twin, little Everly has a very rare skin condition (EB Simplex) – this mainly affects just her feet so cannot be seen so people do not comment on this!
    Thankyou for this read and I think you’re doing a great job with your gorgeous babies.

    • March 15, 2017 / 5:38 pm

      Hi Hannah, thanks so much for getting in touch. It’s just nice to know others understand isn’t it xx I did have to keep going to the doctors until they gave me any medication due to placement so if it’s very close to her eye perhaps keep going back about it. But they do disappear in time xx good luck to you and your babies xxx

  16. Erin
    March 16, 2017 / 11:52 pm

    I had one about 2 inches above my belly button from the day I was born. My parents called it “my little strawberry” lol! My unique mark started to vanish slowly but surely throughout my adolescence. I am now 27 with no signs of it ever existing! No harm done.

    Gorgeous babies, by the way!! Lucky mama!

    • March 17, 2017 / 6:21 am

      That’s fantastic, thanks so much for sharing and reading! 😘❤️️

  17. Lianne Rudge
    March 19, 2017 / 10:44 pm

    Hello! What a gorgeous little girl you have!

    My 9 month old son has a haemangioma on his forehead, just to the right of the top of his nose. When it first appeared I was told by doctors and health visitors not to worry and that it was just a strawberry mark – I really struggled with how little they seemed to be bothered and every time I looked at my beautiful baby all I could see was this lump and I just cried.
    It then grew and grew into a very red, very raised lump. Atticus was put on propanolol, an oral veta-blocker which reduced the lump almost immediately.
    The haemangioma was putting pressure on his eye and causing it to not fully open and we’ve got an appointment with the hospital to make sure it hasn’t damaged the shape of his eye.

    I no longer see the haemangioma when I look at my boy, yes it’s there and yes it’s obvious but it’s part of him. I get people asking me what he’s done to his head or what it is and I happily explain.

    What i wanted to say (sorry for rambling) is that i wish this post had been around when my son’s haemangioma first started to grow as I struggled to come to terms with it and I couldn’t find any support out there. This blog will really help mom’s who need it so thank you xx

    • March 20, 2017 / 1:38 pm

      Hi there, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. That was something that stuck with me too, how professionals were not that worried about it, but it’s your baby, the most precious thing in the whole world, of course we’re going to worry about it. That must have been so worrying for you with it being near his eye. The great thing I keep reminding myself is that it will disappear in time. I wish you and your little one all the best. Thank you so much for your kind message xx

  18. Joy Willard
    March 25, 2017 / 1:56 am

    Hello!
    I had a strawberry right above my belly button when i was a baby. It always stayed flat and completely disapeared at atound age six or seven. I loved mine and was quite sad when i realized it was gone lol.

    • March 25, 2017 / 9:03 am

      Awww! It’s what makes you unique so I can understand you’d miss it. Thanks for getting in touch ❤️️

  19. Jessica Franks
    March 25, 2017 / 8:11 am

    Your twins are beautiful!!

    My little boy had the same birth mark appear when he was just a few days old too, at the side of his head. It’s grew rapidly until he was about 6 months old. At first it use to bother me as it’s all people would notice and say horrible remarks to me such as “what’s that on his head” “it looks like hubba bubba” also a few family members would always question “have the doctors said any thing else yet” every time I saw them, I would immediately jump to Charlies defence “why does it bother you it’s a part of him, he’s perfect” my heart would crumble because to me my little boy is perfect! Eventually the comments died down and people stopped noticing. He is now 1 and it’s almost gone completely! After doctors telling me it would be gone by the age of 7 I was very surprised to see it disappearing sooner! It began getting lighter and less raised at about 9 months and ever since has just been getting smaller! I have pictures to show the development of it disappearing in 4 months which I am happy to share with you if you wish!
    Thankyou for sharing your story it’s so nice to know your not alone! ♥️🍓♥️

    • March 25, 2017 / 9:06 am

      Hi wow I loved reading about your experience xxxxx and completely can relate to all of it xx I would love to see if you don’t mind sharing? My email is foxfairytwins@hotmail.com. Thanks so much for getting in touch xx have a lovely day ❤️️

  20. Carolyn Hawkesworth
    March 27, 2017 / 11:43 am

    Thank you for sharing! I know this might seem like a totally random comment but tomorrow I have a huge exam on pathology and one of the sections of work is vascular malformations and differentiating them from haemangiomas…I saw your post on my instagram explore page and was obviously fascinated! Beatrice is going to help me in my exam because I always find it is always easier to remember the different attributes when it is linked to a person I know or have read about! So your little precious bundle is helping a final year dentistry student in South Africa! Thank you!

    • March 27, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      Oh my goodness that it so lovely! Thank you for taking the time to read it and for sharing this. Massive good luck!! I hope it goes well for you! 😘😘😘

  21. June 16, 2017 / 5:58 pm

    aww she is so adorable, them eyes and that smile… definitely lights up a room doesnt she? its so lovely to know you’ve been given fab care with regards to her treatment. It would be so interesting to see the shrinking as it happens. A reassurance for others who find their children have strawberry’s too!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week

    • June 18, 2017 / 9:20 am

      Hi! Thank you so much for taking the time to read. I think awareness is so important so feel really grateful when people take the time to read xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *