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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 frequently appear following injury. They often occur on the hands and arms or face.

Because these lesions bleed easily, they can be quite annoying. 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.


Review Date: 10/28/2008
Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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