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Pyogenic granuloma

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Lobular capillary hemangioma

Causes

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

Pyogenic granulomas are common in children.

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 granuloma is not destroyed during treatment.

Possible Complications

These problems may occur:

  • Bleeding from the granuloma
  • 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.

Review Date:10/31/2016
Reviewed By:Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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Outcome Data

No data available for this condition/procedure.

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