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Pyogenic granuloma

Definition

Pyogenic granulomas are small, reddish bumps on the skin that bleed easily due to an abnormally high number of blood vessels.

Alternative Names

Lobular capillary hemangioma

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The exact cause of pyogenic granulomas is unknown, but they often appear following injury. They typically occur on the hands, arms, or face.

Pyogenic granulomas are common in children.

Symptoms

  • Small red vascular lump that bleeds easily
  • Often occur at site of recent injury
  • Seen most frequently on hands, arms, and face, but are often found in the mouths of pregnant women

Signs and tests

Your health care provider can usually diagnose this condition by simply performing a physical exam. However, a skin biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Small pyogenic granulomas may go away suddenly. Larger lesions are treated with surgery, electrocautery, freezing, or lasers.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most pyogenic granulomas can be removed, but scarring may appear after treatment. There is a good chance that the condition will return if the entire granuloma is not destroyed during treatment.

Complications

  • Bleeding from the lesion
  • Reappearance of treated lesions

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have a skin lesion that bleeds easily or that changes appearance.

References

Habif TP. Vascular tumors and malformations. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 23.


Review Date: 10/10/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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