A pyogenic granuloma is a noncancerous, raised tumor on your skin or mucous membranes. They’re often associated with pregnancy, medications and injury to your skin or membranes. The lesions, made of abnormal blood vessels, break and bleed easily. Several medications and procedures can help, but lesions might come back or appear in other areas.
A pyogenic granuloma (granuloma pyogenicum) is a noncancerous (benign), raised tumor on your skin or mucous membranes. Pyogenic granulomas tend to ooze, and they break and bleed easily.
The name pyogenic granuloma is actually inaccurate. Pyogenic means pus-producing, and a granuloma is a cluster of white blood cells reacting to infection, causing a lump.
But pyogenic granulomas are rarely related to infection, and they don’t generally contain white blood cells or pus.
The condition is more accurately called lobular capillary hemangioma, a tumor consisting of abnormal blood vessels.
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Pyogenic granulomas affect people of all ages, races and sexes. They’re generally more common in children around 6 years old, teens, young adults and people who are pregnant.
In people who are pregnant, they’re often called granuloma gravidarum, granuloma of pregnancy or epulis gravidarum.
Pyogenic granulomas are relatively common, particularly during pregnancy. Scientists aren’t sure exactly how common they are, though, because many cases aren’t reported.
A pyogenic granuloma is a tumor made up of abnormal blood vessels, but it isn’t cancerous.
The exact cause of pyogenic granulomas is unknown.
They often happen along with:
The skin condition has also been linked to the use of certain types of medications, including:
They can appear anywhere on your skin or mucous membranes. Mucous membranes are thin linings of cavities and canals that leave your body. Examples include the lining of your mouth and nose.
Common sites for pyogenic granulomas are:
A pyogenic granuloma starts as a small, fleshy bump protruding from your skin or mucous membranes. It usually grows quickly, from a few millimeters (the tip of a crayon) to about a half-inch (the tip of a finger).
Pyogenic granulomas have been described as looking like ground beef. They may be pink, red, reddish-brown or purple. They often develop a scaly, white “collar” around the bottom.
At maturity, the growths are often attached to your skin by a stalk-like structure (pedunculated). But they can also attach directly to your skin (sessile).
The surface of a pyogenic granuloma starts smooth but can become bumpy or crusty. The lesions are delicate, so they ooze, break and bleed easily.
Pyogenic granulomas aren’t contagious. Most people get only one pyogenic granuloma at a time, but sometimes, several appear at once.
To diagnose lobular capillary hemangioma, your healthcare provider will:
Most healthcare providers will diagnose the condition based on that information alone. But they may also take a sample of the tissue (biopsy) and examine it under a microscope.
Generally, the only way to cure pyogenic granuloma is to:
In people who are pregnant, granulomas typically disappear after delivery.
Your healthcare provider may recommend a medication or procedure to treat pyogenic granulomas.
Topical medications applied to your skin to shrink pyogenic granulomas include:
Procedures that can remove granulomas include:
Scientists don’t fully understand what causes pyogenic granuloma, but the condition is linked to certain things. As such, the following strategies may reduce your risk:
The prognosis (outlook) is good with pyogenic granuloma. Lesions associated with pregnancy typically go away on their own. Other types usually require treatment but respond well.
These lesions don’t turn cancerous or shorten your lifespan. But they can get infected, especially if you pick at them. And they can leave scars after removal.
Even after successful treatment, you can develop another pyogenic granuloma in the same area or elsewhere on your body. According to some studies, the recurrence rate can be as high as 40%.
Most people with pyogenic granulomas should seek treatment. If you don’t seek treatment, keep the growth covered with a bandage to prevent bleeding and infection.
Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any signs of a skin infection, such as:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A pyogenic granuloma is a noncancerous, raised tumor on your skin or mucous membranes. The lesions consist of abnormal blood vessels, and they break and bleed easily. If you have a pyogenic granuloma, talk to your healthcare provider about medications and procedures that can help.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/15/2022.
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