Angiomas

What are angiomas?

Angiomas are non-cancerous (benign) tumors composed of small blood vessels. They appear on the surface of the skin and can be found anywhere on the body. There are different types of angioma including strawberry angioma, spider angioma and angiokeratoma. These tumors are harmless but patients may want to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.

What are the symptoms of angioma?

Angioma can occur anywhere on the body and are different depending on the type.

Strawberry angioma:

  • Usually purple, blue, black or red in color.
  • It is found on the surface of the skin as a neoplasm.
  • Appears in a single form or in a group.
  • It can grow up to half a centimeter in size.
  • If bruised it bleeds considerably.

Spider angioma:

  • Most common in childhood and pregnancy.
  • It can often appear on the neck, face, arms, fingers and back of the hand.
  • It is below the surface of the skin and has a single red spot with extensions coming from it (hence the name ‘spider angioma’).

Angiomas are tumors that are not cancerous.

Angiokeratoma:

  • Creates small marks on the skin that are red and blue.
  • It usually looks like warts.
  • It is hard and does not shrink when compressed.

What causes angiomas?

The exact cause is unknown but some people may be more prone to them due to a genetic disposition. They are often age-related and also linked to chemical exposure, particular medical conditions and some arise during pregnancy.

See also  Infarction

Strawberry angiomas are associated with aging and appear more in individuals over the age of 30, being more common in the elderly.

How are angiomas treated?

Since angiomas are benign, treatment is not particularly necessary but some people choose to have them removed for cosmetic reasons. If the angioma is in a location that causes it to bleed frequently because it is bruised, it may be best to remove it.

There are several treatment options for angiomas: freezing the lesion, burning the angioma, laser surgery, or excision of the angioma. In some cases, surgery may be an option to remove the angioma. Depending on the size of the angioma, more than one treatment session may be needed. The surgery or treatment may leave bruising or scarring, but this disappears after a while.

How can angiomas be prevented?

The cause of angiomas is not known so prevention is not considered necessary. Angiomas are not cancerous, so there is no need to worry if you have one. You can decide whether to leave it or remove it, but this is easy to decide. A dermatologist or expert in Aesthetic Medicine can easily advise the best type of treatment.