Angiokeratomas are benign vascular skin lesions composed of dilated capillaries. They appear as small, red/blue/black, raised, and rough lesions. They are not painful but may become tender or bleed easily when scratched or irritated. There are many forms of angiokeratoma.
Solitary angiokeratoma appears as a single lesion, most commonly on the legs of the middle aged and elderly. Angiokeratoma of Mibelli is most common in young females and typically appears as one or multiple lesions on the fingers and toes. Angiokeratoma of Fordyce is more common in men and presents as multiple lesions on the scrotum or vulva. Angiokeratoma circumscriptum is a birthmark with a higher incidence in females and may change in appearance over time. Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum is a symptom of Farby syndrome – a rare but serious genetic condition.
Almost all angiokeratomas are benign and require no treatment. These lesions can mimic melanoma and may thus be biopsied. Fortunately, however, treatment for cosmetic purposes is generally very successful. This lesion may be surgically excised, frozen off using cryotherapy, ablated using lasers, or burned off through electrodessication. These treatments all carry a risk of scarring, however. Contact your dermatologist if you are experiencing symptoms of angiokeratoma for evaluation and treatment.