What is an angioma and how is it cured?

Have you ever seen a child with a birthmark, the kind they call “Strawberry brand”? Or those little red warts that adults get spontaneously on their skin? That reddish or bluish mark that appears in some neonates from the moment of birth, appears during the first weeks of life, or in mature ages and is called angioma or hemangioma.

What is an angioma?

  • Angioma is a benign vascular formation, usually superficial, which usually occurs in the head, face, neck, chest or back of some newborn babies and adults.
  • In addition present in other regions of the body, such as arms, legs, and abdomen, and even within cavities, such as the mouth, eyelids, nasal cavities, ears, ear canal, and in the anus
  • Or also with internal development, associated with surface of some organ (intestine, liver, stomach), although the latter is much less frequent.
  • Technically, this is the overgrowth of the density of clustered blood vessels in a precise and limited area of ​​the body.
  • Whether it is present from the moment of birth, or if it appears during the first months of life, infantile angioma evolves during the first year of life, producing protruding marks, often rubbery in appearance, ranging from one millimeter to the volume equivalent to one golf ball, or baseball, in extreme cases) stalling then to begin its reduction.
  • Childhood angioma has a 4-5% probability of occurrence; tends to occur more frequently in fair-skinned people and in females, as well as in premature babies that are born before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
  • The most common type of angioma – superficial – usually shows reddish tones, but in cases in which its presence is not superficial but subcutaneous, it can be bluish or simply be a slight bump of the same skin tone.
  • In cases where the angioma develops a deep vascularization, it usually requires an MRI or a CT scan for evaluation.
  • Because most of the angiomas present in neonates progress favorably, they undergo a spontaneous reversal and disappear spontaneously during the first years of life Without even requiring treatment, specialists usually recommend waiting until beyond four to five years of life before making a decision on whether to intervene or let it evolve spontaneously.
  • As a general rule, as the angioma does not grow with the development of the child, between the ages of ten and twelve its remains go practically unnoticed, reducing its evidence until the formation of a flat or slightly bulging mark, which is usually somewhat lighter in color. than the rest of the skin.

Classification of childhood angioma

  • Superficial: does not develop beyond the first millimeters of the skin’s surface. It usually starts as a small light spot, which gradually grows and darkens, and then spontaneously reverts.
  • Deep: its growth sinks under the skin, giving a smooth appearance on the surface. It is usually more bluish than the superficial ones and has a bruise-like appearance, with a slightly swollen surface, as if it were a veiled mole.
  • Mixed: combines characteristics of the previous ones.

Angioma in adults

In addition to typically childhood benign lesions, the presence of an angioma does not escape in adults, persisting innocuously as the so-called “birthmarks”, or generating new forms of angioma, namely:

  • Cavernous angioma; with deeper roots and with an appearance similar to a kind of irregular, rosy or reddish wart.
  • Senile angioma, also known as ruby nebus, because it resembles small red polka dots.
  • Spider angioma, also known as arachnoid nebus, for its branched shape; more frequent in women.

How is an angioma cured?

Apart from the aesthetic component that may represent the presence of a reddish, flat or protruding mark somewhere on a person’s body, sometimes an angioma can give hemorrhagic manifestations or mild discomfort, so it must be treated for its reduction or elimination. Likewise, in certain cases, the angiomas do not disappear spontaneously but proliferate in their growth towards deeper areas skin or other organs, or are projected as more or less voluminous emergencies above the surface, so it is imperative to treat them until their elimination.

What to do?

The first step to follow is the routine medical evaluation, being able to indicate the subsequent visit to a dermatologist assess the details of the injury and assess the possibility of intervention about it, or let it follow its natural evolution under periodic reviews.

Now, in angioma that causes bleeding, itching, ulcer or recurrent infections -both in children and adults- your intervention is necessary to correct said injury and prevent it from leading to other problems. For this, there are drug treatments Y direct intervention on the injury.

Direct physical action treatments are:

  • Laser treatment, which is used in lesions no more than 3 mm deep and has no permanent effect. A pulsed light laser is usually used, or Nd-YAG and KTP lasers.
  • Liquid nitrogen ablation, where the lesion is localized deep-frozen and excised.
  • Traditional surgery, which is used in more widespread and deep neoplasms, resistant to other treatments.

For their part, treatments based on oral medications are:

  • Beta-blockersAmong them, propanolol, timolol, adenolol and nadolol are used.
  • Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, methylprednisolone, and triamzicolone, injected into the skin or applied as a gel on the lesion.
  • Interferon, for those cases resistant to other drugs, or where these cannot be used due to hypersensitivity or allergies.

All treatments must be carefully evaluated, doing detailed follow-up on them, adapting them to the age and initial condition of the angioma, especially in the case of infants.

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