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  • Angioma

    The term angioma, also known as a haemangioma or hemangioma, characterizes a number of benign tumors, resulting from the excessive proliferation of blood vessel cells (endothelial cells). Typically, these tumors are present at or near the surface of the skin and can appear anywhere on the body.

    Angioma Types

    • Cherry Angioma: Cherry angioma, also referred to as Campbell de Morgan spots, appear most frequently around the mid-trunk, but can occur anywhere on the body. These angiomas are typically red, blue, purple, or nearly black. They are small, bubble-like skin anomalies that resemble a bad blister. From the age of forty and upwards, a person’s chances of getting a cherry angioma greatly increase. Their cause, or causes, is unknown.
    • Spider Angioma: Spider angiomas, also known as spider naevi or naevus araneus, often occur on the face and upper portions of the chest. Their name characterizes the centrally located red capsule of the angioma that is fed by several tiny capillary “legs”. These angiomas are seen in people of all ages, but seem to occur more frequently when there is an elevated level of estrogen in the body. Estrogen typically increases during pregnancy and when a person’s liver is not functioning properly.
    • Venous Lakes: Venous lakes are angiomas that are located on the lips. They are typically a bluish color, but are sometimes reddish or even flesh-toned. They occur most frequently in people over forty years of age.

    Angioma Diagnosis

    Most angiomas can be clinically diagnosed without biopsy, blood tests, or any invasive investigations. However, if the angioma is damaging nearby tissue or if the physician is uncertain about the initial diagnosis, an ultrasound is usually performed so that the patient and physician can ascertain more information about the condition of the angioma.

    In rare cases where the angioma is seriously affecting surrounding tissue and/or structures, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often employed in order to better understand the angioma’s effects on the body and, thus, better equip the physician and patient for proper treatment.

    Angioma Treatment

    An angioma is entirely harmless to the body unless it is damaging adjacent tissues. Thusly, angiomas are not removed in most cases. In fact, the vast majority of all angioma removals are performed for cosmetic reasons, not to improve the physical health of the patient.

    Cryotherapy is a technique commonly used to remove angiomas. This technique is characterized by the freezing of skin lesions with liquid nitrogen, carbon dioxide snow, or dimethyl ether and propane or DMEP. The last of the three methods of chryotherapy is accessible as an over the counter treatment called Wartner. Other treatmenst include electrosurgery and various laser therapies.