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February 1991

A Plea for a Biologic Approach to Hemangiomas of Infancy

Author Affiliations

The Children's Hospital Division of Plastic Surgery 300 Longwood Ave Boston, MA 02115

Arch Dermatol. 1991;127(2):243-244. doi:10.1001/archderm.1991.01680020111016

The anguished parents bring their perfect child to you. Now, there is a red facial blemish. The bright hemangioma seems to beckon you to do something— try anything! Over the years, physicians have demonstrated their resourcefulness in assailing hemangiomas by strangulation with sutures, injection of caustics, and freezing. Electromagnetic energy has also been utilized, including electrolysis, thermocautery, radiation, and now, lasers.1 Perhaps focusing the laser on infant hemangiomas was hastened by its efficacy in treating port-wine stains, vascular malformations often mislabeled as "capillary hemangiomas."

Apfelberg and coworkers2 and Hobby3 presented preliminary reports on the use of argon laser for the treatment of infant hemangiomas. Achauer and Vander Kam4 compared use of the argon with the Nd:YAG laser in the treatment of hemangioma. Now Ashinoff and Geronemus5 present their experience treating 10 children with cutaneous hemangiomas using the flashlamp-pumped pulsed dye laser. A positive response, ie, decrease in size and lightening, is

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