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Pyogenic Granuloma - Pictures, Removal, Symptoms, Treatment

Updated on January 11, 2015

Pyogenic granuloma is a kind of infection of the skin marked by development of reddish elevated bumps. Their appearance is distinctive; the bumps look like the surface of a raspberry, or like tiny chopped pieces of raw meat. The condition does not cause any significant damage to the skin or to a patient’s health, but can sometimes cause elevated discomfort and increased bleeding. Pyogenic granuloma is also called as granuloma telangiectaticum.

Dor and Poncet, two French doctors, discovered the condition in 1987 and subsequently named it pyogenic granuloma. It may however be noted that detailed study of the skin affliction will cause experts to realize that the term ‘pyogenic granuloma’ is not correct for it as it is not the original type of granuloma. The condition cannot be pyogenic, as the original types are normally non-infectious and painless. Also, it is capillary hemangioma belonging to the lobular subtype that is characterized by bleeding.

Most doctors regard pyogenic granuloma as primarily an oral illness characterized by proliferation of tissues caused due to hormonal changes, irritation, and/or physical trauma or injury. These causative factors subsequently harm the nasal airways, the skin and sometimes other body parts like the thighs.

Symptoms of pyogenic granuloma

Some of the common signs and symptoms accompanying pyogenic granuloma are as follows:

  • The skin lesions of pyogenic granuloma are smooth and often develop rapidly. Even the slightest of traumas can cause them to bleed. They generally cause short-term pain. However, if the bumps occur in areas under constant threat of irritation, then they can elicit intense and long-term pain.
  • The skin lesions may grow in varying sizes, ranging from two mm to two cm. Some bumps can be as big as 5 cm diametrically.
  • The colors may also constantly change. It can be pink, purple, or reddish. Pyogenic granuloma lesions that have newly formed often tend to be reddish due to the presence of lots of blood vessels in them. With time, they become pinkish.
  • The surface of the bumps may become inflamed or develop ulcers.
  • The tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, and lips are commonly affected by pyogenic granuloma lesions.Sometimes, the gingival may get affected, resulting in gingival conditions like peripheral giant cell granuloma and peripheral ossifying fibroma.
  • Women may get affected by pyogenic granuloma during the first trimester of pregnancy. The front portion of the nasal airways is usually affected leading to prolonged bleeding from the nose. The condition normally worsens, spreads to other areas and persists till the seventh month of pregnancy.
  • Rarely, minor injuries can cause pyogenic granuloma in the cornea, the ocular connective tissues, the conjunctiva, or other areas of the eyes. These lesions are similar to those occurring on other areas of the body.

Causes of pyogenic granuloma

The precise cause of pyogenic granuloma is currently unknown.

The below listed risk factors can increase the susceptibility to developing pyogenic granuloma:

  • Infection by Staph bacteria is considered as one of the most prevalent causes of pyogenic granuloma.
  • Children, teenagers and women are at increased risk than others.
  • Mild injuries like a pin or needle prick
  • Viral infections are considered to be another causative factor; it is however yet to be medically ratified.
  • Increased stress and poor oral hygiene can also trigger a case of pyogenic granuloma.
  • Presence of blood vessel abnormalities in a specific part of the body can increase its risk towards lesion formation.
  • Hormonal alterations can increase the risk. Hence expectant women are vulnerable. It may however be noted that such risk is rarely associated with pregnancy, but often related to previous use of oral contraceptives.
  • Use of drugs like systemic retinoids or protease inhibitors can also pose increased threat.

Treatment of pyogenic granuloma

Pyogenic granuloma is treated in the following ways:

  • Intake of certain medications: Doctors will suggest the use of alternative drugs for medications currently taken as treatment for pre-existing condition. Subsequently, after the use of the causative medicine is stopped, the lesions disappear on their own.
  • Pregnancy: Pregnancy related pyogenic granuloma lesions clear out on their own after delivery. Pregnant women therefore just need to wait it out. Treatment of the skin condition should be avoided as doing so may lead to pregnancy complications.
  • Other causes: Pyogenic granuloma arising due to other causes are treated in the below listed manner:
    • Surgery, wherein the entire affected area is surgically removed. The area is then sutured and bandaged.
    • Laser therapy, like pulse dye laser treatment, helps burn and destroy the lesions of pyogenic granuloma.
    • In cryosurgery, the lesions are frozen with liquid nitrogen and thus eliminated.
    • Imiquimod is typically used by doctors to treat pyogenic granuloma in children.
    • Curettage and cauterization is another treatment option. In this, a sharp medical instrument known as a curette, is used to scrape off the abnormal bumps. Then, the flow of blood to these bumps is stopped by cauterization of the associated blood vessels. This lowers the risk of a re-occurrence.

Pyogenic Granuloma


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