Pyogenic granuloma

Alternative names
Lobular capillary hemangioma

Definition
Pyogenic granulomas are small, reddish bumps on the skin that bleed easily due to an abnormally high concentration of blood vessels. These lesions often appear at sites of previous trauma.

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 occurs at site of recent trauma  
  • Seen most frequently on hands, arms, and face

Signs and tests
Physical examination is usually sufficient for your health care provider to diagnose pyogenic granuloma. A skin biopsy may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment
Small pyogenic granulomas may go away suddenly. Larger lesions are treated with surgery, electrocautery, freezing, or lasers. The recurrence rate is high if the entire lesion is not destroyed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Most pyogenic granulomas can be removed, but scarring may appear after treatment. Recurrences at the same site are not infrequent.

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.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 4, 2012
by Janet G. Derge, M.D.

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