Information about infantile hemangiomas on the Internet: how accurate is it?

J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007 Dec;57(6):998-1004. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2007.06.038. Epub 2007 Aug 8.


Objectives: We sought to measure the type, content, and quality of World Wide Web sites retrieved when conducting an Internet search for infantile hemangiomas.

Methods: Fifty World Wide Web sites from a Google search for "hemangioma" were examined. Relevant sites were characterized, and content was evaluated by 8 pediatric dermatologists.

Results: The most accurate subjects were the description of risk factors and natural history, whereas the least accurate areas were photographic representation of the disease and presentation of treatment options. Four sites were considered accurate, and the majority of raters would recommend these sites to parents.

Limitations: Internet sites and search results change.

Conclusions: An Internet search for information about infantile hemangiomas yields few sites that accurately depict the full disease spectrum from innocuous to severe. Online educational resources containing a broader overview of the real disease spectrum of infantile hemangiomas are needed. Such sites should include large numbers of photographs, evidence-based content, and resources for parental support.

MeSH terms

  • Hemangioma* / etiology
  • Hemangioma* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Information Services / standards*
  • Internet*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Risk Factors