What are angiokeratomas?
Angiokeratomas are small dark red to purple raised spots. They may also have a rough scaly surface. They are composed of surface blood vessels (dilated capillaries). Often unnoticed, they may become crusty and bleed if accidentally scratched or damaged, or a harmless clot may form in the lesion (thrombosis), changing the colour to dark purple or black overnight.
There are several types of angiokeratomas:
- Sporadic angiokeratoma
- Angiokeratoma of Fordyce
- Angiokeratoma circumscriptum
- Fabry syndrome (angiokeratoma corporis diffusum)
|Type of angiokeratoma||Description|
|Angiokeratoma of Fordyce||
|Fabry syndrome (angiokeratoma corporis diffusum)||
What causes angiokeratomas and who gets them?
Apart from Fabry syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect, the cause of other angiokeratomas is unknown.
What is the treatment for angiokeratomas?
Angiokeratomas are harmless surface vascular lesions that can usually be left alone. As the black spots sometimes resemble melanoma, a skin biopsy may be performed to rule out malignancy and allay any fears.
- OMIM – Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (search term Angiokeratomas)
- Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis – GeneTests GeneReviews
On DermNet NZ:
- Differential diagnosis of vascular lesions
- Vascular skin problems
- Capillary vascular malformation
- Genital skin problems
- Fordyce spots – sebaceous hyperplasia of the lips