For awhile now, I've wondered whether or not I should write a blog about it. At first I thought "is it REALLY anyone's business?" but then I realized that maybe I should blog about it, and explain what it is to inquiring minds that may want to know, but don't ask. With that said, we HAVE had people ask, and that's completely fine -- because it doesn't bother us and because I've found out it's so common.
The "it" I am referring to, is Audrey's forehead.
Today in Walmart while we were waiting in line, I overheard a little girl ask her mom "does that baby have a boo boo?" and it got me thinking "Do other people think this?"..obviously not that its a "boo-boo" (or, at least, I'd hope adults would have common sense) but see it, and are left wondering -- especially if they've never seen another child with a hemangioma, and aren't familiar with what one is. So with that, I decided a blog post was due, and I'd "let it all out there" so for the people who don't know, but are afraid to ask, can know ;)
When she was first born, she had just a tiny, barely there mark on her forehead. A few days after she was born, it started becoming a little more pink. So because of this, we thought it was a stork bite, or an angel kiss (I like that description!) which is extremely common in infants.
After the first month, it became noticeably darker, but was still flat. It was a little funny & we'd laugh because whenever she was really mad, it got even redder -- which is still a characteristic of a stork bite.
Around the time she turned 2 months, we noticed that not only was it getting even darker, it was starting to raise up a little from the surface of her skin. I did a little googling, and discovered that stork bites do not do this, and it was most likely a strawberry hemangioma.
At her 2 month checkup, we brought this up with the doctor. She immediately said (in her fun Polish accent, lol) "Oh yes, its a strawberry hemangioma. Completely normal!" and of course I asked her a few questions. The most important being, does it hurt her? No, it does not. She said the only thing they do for them is just watch it. She said we could take her to a pediatric dermatologist if it bugs US (which, it doesn't) and while there are some new treatments out there, we do not feel like subjecting our baby to painful laser treatments for something cosmetic and superficial.
So what IS a strawberry hemangioma? According to a handy medical dictionary, its described as a red, firm, dome-shaped hemangioma seen at birth or soon after, usually on the head or neck, that grows rapidly and usually regresses and involutes without scarring.
I did some of my own research and discovered that its very common, specifically in premature, Caucasian females. Audrey was certainly not premature (far from it, actually haha), but she's 2 for 3!
The good news? They almost always go away, on their own, and without treatment. They begin to shrink around the age of 1, and are usually gone by the time a child is 2. Anyone I have talked to who has had a child with the same thing, has said it went away, usually around 18-24 months. Are we worried? Absolutely not. To be honest, when I look at my perfect baby, I barely even notice it. With that said though, I know other people do -- and that's okay.
My hope is for people to look at our sweet daughter exactly like we do and see nothing but a beautiful little girl with an adorable smile and the sweetest little personality ;)