Angioma – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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An angioma is a benign tumor that consists of small blood vessels.

It usually appears at the skin or near the surface of the skin. Angiomas may appear anywhere on the body, and aren’t considered dangerous. However, they may be present as symptoms of another more serious disorder, such as cirrhosis.

Some of the different types include:

  • spider angiomas
  • cherry angiomas
  • senile angiomas

A spider angioma is a type of angioma found slightly below the skin’s surface, often containing a central red spot and reddish extensions which radiate outwards like a spider’s web.

Spider angiomas are commonly found on the face, neck, upper part of the trunk and arms. They may also be present on the backs of the hands and fingers in young children. Many pregnant women, or women taking oral contraceptives, have spider angiomas. People who have significant hepatic disease also show many spider angiomas, as they are not making sufficient of coagulation factors. It is found in ninety percent of the females and around eighty percent of them are affected by it before they attain the age of twenty. The cause is unknown. Although painless and harmless, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if injured. Cavernous angiomas are often sporadic in nature. They can be hereditary with variable expressivity.

Cause of Angioma

The exact cause is unknown. Spider angiomas are very common and are especially prevalent during pregnancy. Some of the possible causes of angioma include alcoholic liver disease which causes spider angiomas and cirrhosis of the liver which results in spider angiomas.

Symptoms of Angioma

An angioma may have no symptoms. When symptoms are present, they often depend on the location of the angioma and on the strength of the angioma walls. Large angiomas can bleed profusely when they are injured.

The symptoms associated with angioma include:

  • birthmarks as many of them are actually angiomas
  • stork bites which are a common type of strawberry birthmark
  • portwine stains which are also referred to as nevus flammeus
  • strawberry marks which are caused by capillary hemangiomas

Treatment of Angioma

Angiomas do not need to be treated unless they bleed or are bothering you. They can be treated with electrodesiccation were electric needle is used for touching the skin and destroying the blood vessels that make up the tumor.

Angiomas can also be treated with liquid nitrogen therapy. Liquid nitrogen is a cold, liquefied gas that is sprayed on the skin with a spray gun. This works by freezing and destroying the tumor of blood vessels.

Another option is the use of stereotactic radiosurgery. This is defined as a precise way of delivering radiation to the lesion, without affecting the surrounding area of the brain. This technique has been highly successful in treating Venous Angiomas, but it is important that doctors are able to find the exact location of the lesion.

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Juliet Cohen

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