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Vascular anomalies of the skin in children and adults comprise a wide variety of lesions that are present from birth (sometimes known as birthmarks) or that develop during childhood or later in life.

Classification of these lesions is somehow confusing and even in medical literature it is possible to find many differences, so maybe not all pediatric surgeons will use the same word to describe the same skin lesion.

The purpose of this article is to facilitate to the parents of affected children to understand the different types of vascular anomalies such as hemangiomas for example, and being aware of the steps of the treatment and management of each one, as well as the natural history and evolution of each kind of lesion.

In this article we use the latest classification made by Dr. John B. Mulliken, modified at the International Society of the Study of Vascular Anomalies Workshop1.

The Vascular anomalies are divided in two categories:

1. Vascular malformations: They are congenital (present from birth) and are caused by abnormal development of vascular structures (like small blood vessels, veins, arteries, etc.) during embryonic and fetal life, that is, before birth the already exist.

They include:

a) Capillary malformations (Port-wine stains)
b) Venous malformations
c) Lymphatic malformations
d) Arteriovenous malformations

2. Vascular tumors: Hemangiomas

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