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Current management of infantile hemangiomas.

During the past several years, there have been new advancements in the management of infantile hemangiomas (IHs). In many patients, no treatment is ever necessary--because IHs are well known for their natural history of spontaneous involution. However, a significant minority of hemangiomas do require treatment. Moreover, they are very heterogeneous, making the decision of when, how, and why to intervene quite variable. The least common but most important rationale for intervention is the presence of a life- or function-threatening complication, where prompt therapeutic intervention is a necessity. A much more common scenario is ulceration, where appropriate management is needed to expedite healing and control pain. Increasingly, the life-altering aspects of hemangioma are being recognized as a rationale for treatment because permanent scarring and disfigurement can result even if involution is complete. Treatments for IHs currently include topical, intralesional, and systemic therapies. Laser and surgical modalities are also sometimes used depending on the clinical scenario. In the absence of rigorous evidence-based studies, clinicians must carefully weigh the risks and benefits of medical or surgical treatments versus observation alone in tailoring management to the specific clinical situation at hand.

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