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Difference Between Hematoma and Hemangioma

A hematoma is a collection of blood that is formed under the epidermis of the skin or in an injured organ. A hemangioma is a benign skin tumor caused by blood vessels growing strangely.

What is a Hematoma?


A hematoma can be defined as blood that accumulates under the epidermis or in an organ.


The cause of a hematoma is a traumatic injury like a hard blow or hit to the head or other part of the body.

Symptoms and complications:

A hematoma can appear on the skin as a purple area that may swell and be sore. If in the brain, a hematoma such as a subdural hematoma can be dangerous. It can cause head pain, vomiting, dizziness, and can lead to death if not treated.


Diagnosis is by a physical examination noting the history of an injury and the appearance of the hematoma. If an internal hematoma is suspected, then imaging techniques like a CT scan or an MRI can indicate its presence. 


Treatment may not be necessary if it is a minor hematoma because often, these simply heal on their own in time. However, brain hematomas can be dangerous because of the pressure they place on the brain. Surgery is often needed to treat hematomas on the brain to release pressure on the brain tissue.

What is a Hemangioma?


A hemangioma is a lesion that is a benign tumor, and it sometimes occurs from birth but not always.


It is an overgrowth of blood vessels that results in a hemangioma. Nobody knows exactly why a hemangioma happens; blood vessels in the area seem to develop abnormally. A theory is that it somehow involves genetic mutations and abnormal angioblast cells.

Symptoms and complications:

A hemangioma looks like a red or purple area on the skin. They can ulcerate and bleed. Complications can occur depending on where the hemangioma is located. For instance, if on the face, a hemangioma can interfere with sight or affect a child’s breathing. 


A physical exam can lead to a diagnosis of hemangioma. If there is concern over how deep the structure goes, an imaging method such as an MRI may be done.


Treatment may not be needed but corticosteroids can be used on the area. Creams containing beta-blockers can also be helpful.

Difference between Hematoma and Hemangioma?


A hematoma is a blood pool in an organ or under the skin. A hemangioma is a benign tumor made of overgrown blood vessels. 


A hematoma forms when a blood vessel is torn, causing blood to leak out. A hemangioma forms when blood vessels grow in an odd way.


Diagnosis of a hematoma is by clinical exam or CT or MRI scans.  Diagnosis of a hemangioma is based on a clinical exam.


An injury such as a hard blow to the body is the cause of a hematoma. The cause of hemangiomas is not known for sure, but may involve gene mutations and problems with how angioblasts work. 


Treatment in the form of surgery may be needed for a brain hematoma, but minor hematomas on the skin normally heal on their own. A hemangioma can be treated with corticosteroids and beta-blockers if needed.


A hematoma in the brain can cause brain injury. A hemangioma does not have complications unless it is large or on the face where vision could be compromised.

Table comparing Hematoma and Hemangioma

Summary of Hematoma Vs. Hemangioma

  • A hematoma is simply when blood collects because of a damaged blood vessel.
  • A hemangioma is an unusual growth of blood vessels.
  • Hematomas and hemangiomas don’t always need to be treated.
  • A hemangioma on the face or hematoma on the brain usually does need treatment.


Is hematoma and hemangioma the same?

No, a hematoma and hemangioma are different. A hematoma is a pool of blood, while a hemangioma is a clump of blood vessels.

What are the two types of hemangiomas?

The two types of hemangiomas found in infants are superficial and deep hemangiomas. Superficial hemangiomas occur in the top layers of the skin while deep hemangiomas lie deeper down in the skin. A superficial hemangioma is red, while one that is quite deep looks purple in color since it is deep down within the dermis.

What does hemangioma mean?

A hemangioma is a benign growth of blood vessels; in infants, they make a red birthmark on the skin, which can vary in size.

What causes a hemangioma?

The exact cause of hemangioma is unknown but likely includes gene mutations and problems in how the angioblasts work. The angioblasts are cells that give rise to the blood vessels.

What are the three types of hemangioma?

Hemangiomas can be divided into three types depending on how far into the skin they penetrate. These types are superficial, deep, and mixed. Mixed hemangiomas have both superficial and deep aspects.

Can a hematoma turn into a tumor?

No, a hematoma cannot become cancerous. It is a benign growth.

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References :

[0]Aaron, Denise M. “Infantile hemangiomas”. Merckmanuals. Merck & Co., 2022, https://www.msdmanuals.com/professional/dermatologic-disorders/benign-skin-tumors,-growths,-and-vascular-lesions/infantile-hemangiomas

[1]Cleveland Clinic. “Subdural hematoma”. Cleveland Clinic, 2022, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/21183-subdural-hematoma

[2]Mao, Gordon. “Intracranial hematomas”. Merckmanuals. Merck & Co., 2022, https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/injuries-and-poisoning/head-injuries/intracranial-hematomas

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