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Summary

An infantile haemangioma (IH) is a benign tumour of infancy. The standard approach to uncomplicated lesions is ‘wait and see’, but active intervention is sometimes preferred to avoid the unpredictable risk of cosmetic disfigurement. Topical beta-blockers were recently introduced as an effective alternative in such cases, but data are still lacking. We report the initial phase of a prospective study evaluating the efficacy and safety of topical timolol gel for IH, and present the interim analysis of the first 25 patients who completed a 6-month course of treatment. These 25 patients, with 39 localized, superficial haemangiomas, were treated with timolol 0.1% gel for 6 months and evaluated at 4-week intervals using the Physician’s Global Assessment Score; the mean change was an 85% improvement from baseline, and complete clearance was achieved in four children. The treatment was more effective for plaque than for nodular lesions, and for proliferating than for involuting lesions. No side-effects were seen or reported. These early data confirm that timolol is a very effective and relatively safe treatment for small, localized, superficial IHs.