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What are Angiokeratomas?

Angiokeratomas are small dark red to purple raised spots. They may also have a rough scaly surface. They are composed of superficial blood vessels (dilated capillaries). Often unnoticed, they may become crusty and bleed if accidentally scratched or damaged, or a harmless clot may form in the lesion (thrombosis), overnight changing the color to dark purple or black.

There are several types of Angiokeratomas:

  • Sporadic angiokeratoma
  • Angiokeratoma of Fordyce
  • Angiokeratoma circumscriptum
  • Fabry syndrome (angiokeratoma corporis diffusum)

What causes Angiokeratomas and who gets them?

Apart from Fabry syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect, the cause of other angiokeratomas is unknown.

What is the treatment for Angiokeratomas?

Angiokeratomas are harmless surface vascular lesions that can usually be left alone. As the black spots sometimes resemble melanoma, a skin biopsy may be performed to rule out malignancy and allay any fears.

If bleeding becomes a concern or a treatment is requested for cosmetic purposes, they can be removed. Surgical options include excision, laser therapy, pulse dye laser, cryotherapy or electrocautery.

Treatment of choice

  • Pulse Dye Laser

    The pulsed dye laser is a device that produces a bright light that is absorbed by abnormal blood vessels, which are destroyed without damaging the surrounding skin. The laser uses yellow light, which is very safe and does not result in any long-term skin damage.

  • Cryotherapy

    Cryotherapy refers to a treatment in which surface skin lesions are frozen, commonly used for a variety of benign and malignant lesions, for example cryotherapy is consider the best treatment for Wartsactinic keratosis,Seborrhic keratosis, and some Skin tags.

  • Electrocautary

    Used in dermatological procedures to stop bleeding (hemostasis) or to destroy abnormal skin growths like: Skin tags, Warts, Pyogenic granuloma.



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