Infantile haemangiomas, also known as strawberry birthmarks, are raised marks on the skin that are usually red. They can appear anywhere on the body.
Sometimes infantile haemangiomas occur deeper in the skin, in which case the skin can look blue or purple.
Haemangiomas are common, particularly in girls, and affect around 5% of babies soon after birth. They rapidly increase in size for the first six months before eventually shrinking and disappearing by around seven years of age.
In some cases, a birthmark will need to be treated for medical reasons – for example, if a haemangioma blocks the airways, affects vision or becomes ulcerated. Some people may also decide to seek treatment for cosmetic reasons.
Haemangiomas that get bigger rapidly, or those that interfere with vision or feeding, may need to be treated.