SKIN – HAEMANGIOMA (HEMANGIOMA) – VASCULAR BIRTHMARK
Each and everyone will have birthmarks in one or other places. Since they are usually permanent, they are called as mother’s mark or angel’s kiss. It helps to identify one in addition to their appearances. There are two types of birthmarks, i.e., pigmentation mark (Brown or Black) and vascular mark (Red or Blue). Pigmentation mark is called as mole and vascular mark is called as Haemangioma or Naevi. They can be flat or raised and regular or irregular in shape. Also, both the moles and haemangioma usually vary in size (from tiny dot to mammoth) and happens to grow slightly after the birth. Sometimes, it may also regress in course of time. They are mostly harmless and painless. But, if any of the birthmarks happens to grow in fast manner, surely one need to be cautious and have to consult a physician immediately, since they can turn to be cancerous by any of the time.
Haemangioma is a congenital (developmental) malformation of blood vessels. Medically, it is treated as benign tumour of blood vessels (proliferation of inner lining (endothelial) cells of blood vessels). It is the most common benign tumour of new born / children. “Haemal” is meant for pertaining to blood or blood vessels, “oma” is meant for any tumour and “Angioma” is meant for the tumour whose cells tend to form blood vessels. In general, it is just like having extra or over grown or enlarged blood vessels (with normal cells / linings). It is otherwise called as Infantile Haemangioma or Haemartoma.
INCIDENCES – Its prevalence seem to affect around 5% of children. It is most commonly seen in girls than boys and especially with premature babies. Any how, it can occur even in adult too in any of the time. It commonly occurs as single especially in head or around neck area, but can also occur anywhere (outer or inner parts of the body).
CAUSES – The exact reason for haemangioma is still unrevealed. Even though haemangiomas are not usually hereditary, siblings of the affected child often seems to have haemangiomas.
TYPES – Chiefly there are three types of Haemangiomas
- Capillary Haemangioma (superficial angiomatous naevi) – Commonly seen in scalp, face, neck, lip, etc and is reddish in colour. They are otherwise called as Haemangioma simplex or Strawberry birthmark or Spider angiomas or Naevi.
- Cavernous Haemangioma (subcutaneous angiomatous naevi) – are usually deep inside the body and reflect as bluish or bluish red in colour. It is common in lips, tongue, scalp, face, liver, buttocks, etc. Further it is commonly associated with internal organs.
- Plexiform Haemangioma (mixed angiomatous naevi) – This form of haemangioma is some what dangerous if happened to bleed. Most often it occurs in temple area of face.
SYMPTOMS – Most of the time, Haemangioma remains only as a cosmetic disfigurement without any other symptom. The appearance of a hemangioma depends on its site, occurrence, growth, involution nature, etc. They may undergo spontaneous regression or involution. Occasionally, it can cause symptoms according to the place and size of the haemangioma. Commonly, it
- Occurs congenitally or just after the birth
- Reddish or Bluish red in appearance
- Looks like bag of worms (or like spider) with enlarged / engorged blood vessels seen underneath the skin
- Has active blood supply and is Compressible (i.e., fades on pressure)
- Burning / itching / feeling hot over the patch
DIAGNOSIS – Diagnosing superficial haemangioma is simple. Just clinical examination will fix it. Any how, in case of deep haemangiomas and to rule out complications Doppler study / Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or Angiography can help to fix the diagnosis and to plan the treatment. In case of any suspicion of malignancy, biopsy may be required.
COMPLICATIONS – Mostly there won’t be any complications at all. Any how, occasionally there may be
- Discomfort due to uneven surface
- Bleeding due to abrasions / Rupture due to injury
- Ulceration and infection
- Thrombus (clot) formation due to pooling of blood
- Life threatening with bleeding or other organ failures due to emboli formations
- Emotional distress due to cosmetic disfigurement
Haemangiomas which occur in throat, lungs, eye, ear, etc may threaten sufferer & compel one to opt for surgical excision at the earliest.
GENERAL TREATMENT – Small haemangiomas often get fade on its own and large haemangiomas has more complications with interventions. So, in general, hemangiomas are often left untreated with “wait and watch” line of management. Any how, for cosmetic betterment, sometimes conservative treatment will be opted with injection of scelorising chemical agent into the haemangioma to get the size reduced along with steroidal pills. Ligation of feeding vessels will also be attempted. The advancement of plastic surgery and laser seems to benefit many hemangiomas, i.e., with excision and skin grafting. Surgical interventions may be in need of compulsion in those cases of haemangioma involving vital organs and also in those cases of recurrent bleeding and discomfort. Scar formation and keloid growth are few complications with surgical options.
Homeopathic Approach on HAEMANGIOMA
Even though haemangioma is not a serious disorder, it needs proper care to avoid development of complications. Even though pigmentation birthmarks (moles) cannot be treated, vascular birthmarks (Haemangiomas) can be treated well with homeopathic medicines. In homeopathy, Haemangioma is not considered as a pure surgical disease. Also, it won’t just rely on external treatment such as creams / ointments / injections, etc for management, since they all have very little or no value in treatment of Haemangioma. According to homeopathy, localized approach or treatment will usually suppress / mask the complaint for a time being and will fix the disease else where. Homeopathy can fade them with its effective internal medicines & constitutional approach.
To avoid discomfort, pain, itching, ulceration, bleeding & unwanted growth of the Haemangioma, treatment should be taken as early as possible or otherwise, it can only be maintained. Homeopathic medicines commonly used in cases of Haemangiomas are Acid Nit, Aesculus Hip, Apis mel, Arnica, Ars alb, Aurum mur, Baryta mur, Bryonia, Calc carb, Calc flour, Causticum, Graphites, Hamemelis, Hepasulf, Hypericum, Lachesis, Lycopodium, Millefolium, Nat Sulp, Nux Vom, Phosphorus, Plumbum met, Pulsatilla, Secale cor, Silicea, Sulphur, Thuja, Vipera, etc. These Medicines should be taken under the advice and diagnosis of a qualified Homeopath.
Dr. S. Chidambaranathan, BHMS, MD (Homeo)
24 E. New Mahalipatti Road
Tel: +91-452-233-8833 | +91-984-319-1011 (Mob)
(Disclaimer - The contents of this column are for informational purpose only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional healthcare advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of healthcare professional for any health problem or medical condition.)