HomeDisease PreventionWhat is Angiokeratoma? Causes Symptoms and Treatment

What is Angiokeratoma? Causes Symptoms and Treatment


What is Angiokeratoma
What is Angiokeratoma

Angiokeratoma is hard bumps on your skin. It is a Greek word that means a vessel horn tumor. This symptom is generally found on human skin. 

The tiny blood vessels under your skin are called capillaries, and Angiokeratoma widens the small veins that look like wart-like spots underneath your skin. These enlarged capillaries have many types, but the most common is Fordyce, which develops red or black spots on your scrotum or vulva. 

It is not infectious; however, it must be treated if it bleeds or causes hurt. 

The disorder starts when blood capillaries underneath your skin widen and tear your skin; moreover, it gets thickened. 

The spots with different colors, such as red, blue, purple, or black, under the skin are also non-cancer tumors. It also has types, for example, Fordyce, Mirabelli, and those associated with Fabry disease, further described in the blog. 


The symptoms are not harmful, nor are the bumps. However, it is found in aged people and can appear in you because of genetics.

What are capillaries?

Capillaries comprise tunica intima, having a thin wall, and scaled endothelial cells. However, these are blood vessels making the human body’s circulatory system, and these are small and complex. With the naked eye, one cannot see capillaries through a microscope. 

It has been estimated that ten billion capillaries are in the human body, and Capillaries also convey waste materials from your tissues. 


Also, it exchanges oxygen and nutrients for carbon dioxide and waste. 

Moreover, Capillaries are the connection between arteries and veins to send oxygen and nutrients to the blood and cells. 

Types of Angiokeratoma 

The types of angiokeratoma according to different symptoms and age groups are given below.

1.     Angiokeratoma of Fordyce

Angiokeratomas of Fordyce are a type of benign growth that consists of small, red-to-dark purple papules on the scrotum, labia, shaft of the penis, or vulva. They are made up of enlarged blood vessels in the skin and can occur in both men and women.

This type is common in male reproductive parts, i.e., the scrotum or penis. It influences the middle layer of skin,i.e., the dermis, and the upper layer, i.e., the epidermis.

Also, it has a more negligible effect on the female reproductive part 

(vulva). It affects aged people. Also, many people have many types of angiokeratomas, and females having pregnancy or birth control drugs may develop these lesions.

These growths are usually asymptomatic, but some people may experience itching or burning. Angiokeratomas of Fordyce are not contagious and do not require treatment unless they are bothersome.

2.     Angiokeratoma of Mibelli

Angiokeratoma of Mibelli is a rare, autosomal dominant disorder characterized by telangiectasias, blue papules, and ichthyosis. Patients with this disorder have a mutation in the gene encoding keratin 16 which is located on chromosome 12.

It is commonly found in children designated female at birth, between childhood and teen adulthood, ages 10 to 19. 

It affects the skin as wounds screen between fingers and toes, and it may extend to the chest, knees, and elbow and are more expected to bleed. 

3.     Angiokeratoma circumscriptum

This rare type is found only in designated females at birth.

When a baby is born dull, flat, and discolored, lesions are made. 

Children mostly have these bumps on the neck, chest, or tongue. Sometimes, the spots are minor, but they can cover almost a quarter of the whole body in rare cases.

These can be seen on the hips and thighs, lesions made in infancy or childhood. Genetic malformation of another site can be the cause. It is, in fact, a Nevoid hamartomatous, i.e., non-cancerous Extension in the body of unusual and abnormal growth of cells and tissues found in the area. 

4.     Angiokeratoma Corporis diffusum

Fabry disease is the cause of this type of angiokeratoma. It is inherited and can be caused due to the shortage of alpha-galactosidase A. The deficiency leads to the expansion of glycosphingolipids. This glycosphingolipid is found in lysosomes, and further lysosomes are present in the cell to tissue. Thus, it is termed a disease of multi-system.

The inherited metabolic disorder moreover causes the disability of breaking the waste products into the body. These lesions are made from hips to toe, covering your gentile’s abdomen. It is mainly caused due to the deficiency of enzymes. Enzyme deficiency is an X-linked recessive disorder in homozygous male patients in their adulthood.

5.     Solitary and Multiple papular Angiokeratoma 

It is common in the young and lower parts of the body. It can be caused due to the acquired congenital deficiency of elastic tissues in the provincial vein.

Causes of Angiokeratomas 

There are many different causes of angiokeratomas (red spots on the skin). The most common cause is sun exposure. The other causes are

1.     Heredity

The family disease can cause angiokeratoma, which can pass from one generation to another, i.e., heredity. 

According to a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s genetics department, it is found in men from 40,000 to 60,000. Moreover, dilated blood vessels close to the skin’s upper layer can cause angiokeratoma. 

2.     High Blood Pressure

Other causes include high blood pressure, i.e., hypertension usually near the skin veins. 

However, this can affect the near blood capillaries, i.e., inguinal hernia and hemorrhoids. Also, it can cause injuries in the past at the site of the affected area. 

3. Other causes

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Smoking

Note: STDs, i.e., sexually transmitted diseases, usually do not express angiokeratomas symptoms, and it is because Fordyce is a type of angiokeratoma that happens in genital areas.

Symptoms of angiokeratoma?

It looks like a wart and can be found anywhere in the body. The lesion’s color usually starts with red, then varies from purple, blue, and black, and becomes darker and thickens on the skin. The lesions on the darker skin are usually not prominent. The symptoms of angiokeratomas mentioned below

  1. More than five mm 
  2. Red, blue, purple, or black
  3. Not prominent in dark skin color
  4. Having a rough or smooth area.
  5. Dilated form of capillaries formed in the papillary dermis
  6. Hyperkeratosis leads to a whitish cover
  7. Copula shape


It is anticipated on the skin and cannot harm unless one can feel pain or hurt in the area of bumps. 

In addition, it can be longer on the skin and thus might not remove easily from the skin. 

If the bumps cause bleed or pain, consult the doctor for proper treatment. Some treatments that can help in removing the lesions are mentioned below.

1.     Laser surgery  

Laser surgery eliminates lesions mostly in Fordyce’s angiokeratomas⁠. Pulsed dye laser surgery is used to remove the lesions. Your doctor, after analysis, can guide you better about the treatment. 

Laser surgery 
Laser surgery 

The lesions can be removed by freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) or by laser surgery. One of the newer lasers, the pulsed dye laser, is very effective in treating angiokeratomas.

This laser uses a yellow light that is absorbed by the abnormal blood vessels in the skin.

The light is absorbed by the blood vessels, causing them to collapse and disappear.

The yellow light also causes the skin to contract, which helps to close the holes that have been left behind by the blood vessels.

The pulsed dye laser is a very effective treatment for angiokeratomas. It is safe and has very few side effects.

2.     Cryotherapy 

One of the techniques used to treat lesions is Cryotherapy. In this, a high freezing temperature is used to remove skin lesions. 


This is a relatively new form of treatment. In this treatment, the body is exposed to shallow temperatures from freezing gases. The freezing gas helps in killing the cancer cells.

How does it work?

This is a very new form of treatment. And it is still being studied. Researchers think cryotherapy can kill cancer cells by freezing them and damaging their cell membranes. It may also affect the blood vessels that feed the cancer cells, and this may reduce the size of the tumor. 

What are the risks and side effects?

There are some risks and side effects of cryotherapy. They are:

  • Skin infection
  • Wound infection
  • Scarring
  • Damage to the nearby organs
  • Allergic reactions

3.     Electrosurgery 

Electrosurgery or fulguration is used to remove the lesion in which heat is used to treat the bumps. Furthermore, Laser surgery, i.e., ablation, uses high-intensity light beams. Similarly, Skin excision also removes the lesions. 


Electrosurgery is a surgical treatment method that uses high-frequency electrical currents to produce heat. The electrical current is passed through a wire electrode placed in contact with the tissue. The heat produced by the electrical current is used to destroy or remove the tissue.

Electrosurgery is a commonly used surgical technique with several advantages over other surgical techniques. Electrosurgery is a relatively bloodless surgery that reduces the risk of infection. In addition, electrosurgery is less likely to damage surrounding tissue than other surgical techniques.

 Electrosurgery treats various conditions, including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors, warts, and other skin lesions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. what is Angiokeratoma?

    Angiokeratoma is a small, benign (noncancerous) tumor that consists of dilated blood vessels in the upper layers of the skin.

  2. Is Angiokeratoma Dangerous?

    No, angiokeratoma is not dangerous.

  3. Does Angiokeratoma Go Away On Its Own?

    No, angiokeratoma does not go away on its own.

  4. Is Angiokeratoma An STD?

    No, angiokeratoma is not an STD (Sexually Transmitted dieses).

  5. What Causes Angiokeratoma?

    The exact cause of angiokeratoma is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

  6. Can You Pop Angiokeratoma?

    No, you should not try to pop angiokeratoma. It can get contagious if you pop it.

  7. Does Angiokeratoma Spread?

    No, angiokeratoma does not spread.

  8. Is Angiokeratoma Contagious?

    No, angiokeratoma is not contagious.

  9. Is Angiokeratoma Cancer?

    No, angiokeratoma is not cancer.

  10. Can I Do Cryotherapy On My Angiokeratoma At Home?

    No, you should not try to do cryotherapy on your angiokeratoma at home.

  11. Do Dermatologists Treat Angiokeratoma With Labia?

    Yes, dermatologists can treat angiokeratoma with labia.

  12. Does Angiokeratoma Itch?

    Generally not. But sometimes it may itch.

  13. Does Angiokeratoma Itch?

    The exact cause of angiokeratoma of fordyce lips is unknown, but it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.

  14. How To Get Rid Of Angiokeratoma On Testicles?

    You should visit a dermatologist.

  15. What Type Of Doctor Treats Angiokeratomas?

    A dermatologist treats angiokeratomas.

Video about Angiokeratoma


If you have any concerns about angiokeratoma, please make an appointment with your doctor, and they will be able to determine if you have angiokeratomas or something else. As always, thanks for reading; I hope this was helpful.

About The Author

Judy Lexie
Judy Lexiehttps://health.gd/
Hi there! I'm Judy Lexie, a passionate health and fitness content writer with over 5 years of experience in the industry. As a personal trainer and nutrition consultant, I'm dedicated to empowering individuals to achieve their health and wellness goals through evidence-based, practical advice.

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