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Pyogenic granuloma

Lobular capillary hemangioma

Pyogenic granulomas are small, raised, and red bumps on the skin. The bumps have a smooth surface and may be moist. They bleed easily because of the high number of blood vessels at the site. It is a benign (noncancerous) growth.

Causes

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

The lesions are common in children and pregnant women. (A skin lesion is an area of the skin that is different than the surrounding skin.)

Symptoms

Signs of a pyrogenic granuloma are:

  • A small red lump on the skin that bleeds easily
  • Often found at the site of a recent injury
  • Usually seen on hands, arms, and face, but they may develop in the mouth (most often in pregnant women)

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will do a physical exam to diagnose this condition.

You may also need a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Small pyogenic granulomas may go away suddenly. Larger bumps are treated with:

  • Surgical shaving or excision
  • Electrocautery (heat)
  • Freezing
  • A laser
  • Creams applied to the skin (may not be as effective as surgery)

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most pyogenic granulomas can be removed. A scar may remain after treatment. There is a high chance that the problem will come back if the whole lesion is not destroyed during treatment.

Possible Complications

These problems may occur:

  • Bleeding from the lesion
  • Return of the condition after treatment

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if you have a skin bump that bleeds easily or that changes appearance.

References

Habif TP. Vascular tumors and malformations. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 23.

Patterson JW. Vascular tumors. In: Patterson J, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 38.

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    • Pyogenic granuloma - close-up

      Pyogenic granuloma - close-up

      illustration

    • Pyogenic granuloma on the hand

      Pyogenic granuloma on the hand

      illustration

      • Pyogenic granuloma - close-up

        Pyogenic granuloma - close-up

        illustration

      • Pyogenic granuloma on the hand

        Pyogenic granuloma on the hand

        illustration

       

      Review Date: 10/14/2018

      Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, 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, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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