An angioma is a benign tumor that consists of small blood vessels. They usually appear at 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, and 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.
Causes of Angioma
The cause is unknown. Although painless and harmless, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if injured. Angiomas are due to aging and do not have any known significance. Spider angiomas are more common in childhood and during pregnancy, and a few can appear on anyone. A spider angioma can be seen in a healthy person without any apparent cause. But it is more common in individuals with liver disease or altered hormone levels. A spider angioma is formed when a group of blood vessels dilates in a characteristic “spider leg” pattern.
Sporadic Cavernous Angioma A solitary cavernous angioma may be present at birth or may develop later in life. If no other family members are affected, the condition is often not inheritable and is considered sporadic. This means that children of those with sporadic cavernous angioma may have no greater chance of having cavernous angioma than anyone else in the general public.
Symptoms of Angioma
A 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 is a common type of strawberry birthmark, portwine stains which are also referred to as nevus flammeus and strawberry marks which are caused by capillary hemangiomas.
Angiomas can be treated with electrodesiccation. This is done in the doctors office. It consists of touching the skin with an electric needle and destroying the blood vessels that make up the tumor.
Cryotherapy – Use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the Angioma and thus remove it.
Laser vaporization – In this method an intense beam of light is used to remove the angioma. This technique involves minimal harm to surrounding skin tissue.
While surgery is still an option it is risky depending on the location of the lesion and the basic health of the individual. In all cases it is not the best option and is usually only done in cases where the lesions continues to bleed and the individual is put at great risk. The use of stereo tactic radio surgery is another option. This is a precise way of delivering radiation to the lesion without causing any affect to the surrounding area of the brain. In treating venous angiomas this technique has been highly successful, but the doctors need to find the exact location of the lesion in order to eradicate it with a single treatment.