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Pyogenic Granuloma - Overview

Pyogenic granuloma is considered a rather frequent skin growth. This skin lesion occurs in a form of a small red, oozing and bleeding bump that resembles raw hamburger meat. In majority of cases the occurrence of pyogenic granuloma is induced by a minor injury. It may grow rapidly within a few weeks and reach the size of approximately a half of an inch. The predilection places of pyogenic granuloma include oral cavity, but it may also affect the nasal septum and different parts of the skin such as the head, neck, upper trunk, hands and feet.

Even though pyogenic granuloma may occur at any age it predominantly affects children, pregnant women and patients who are taking certain medications such as indinavir, Soriatane, Accutane and oral contraceptives.

Pyogenic granuloma is considered a benign tumor. It never turns into a malignant form. But once it has occurred one should consult his/ her health care provider. This way a doctor can confirm definitive diagnosis and rule out possibility of malignant skin tumors which may sometimes resemble pyogenic granuloma. A definitive diagnosis is set after pathohistological examination of the biopted tissue. Pyogenic granuloma may reoccur after being treated. This particularly refers to pyogenic granuloma of the upper back in young adults. Furthermore, after the treatment it may happen that multiple smaller pyogenic granulomas form near the original site of the skin growth. They are called 'satellites' and occur due to spread of pieces of original pyogenic granuloma.

Treatment for Pyogenic Granuloma

In some cases pyogenic granuloma may withdraw spontaneously. However, this does not occur very often and skin lesions must be adequately treated.

The tumor is most commonly scraped off with an instrument known as a curette. The treated skin area is also lightly cauterized. This maneuver decreases the change of tumor reoccurrence. Some doctors treat pyogenic granuloma with chemicals such as TCA, podophylin, phenol, silver nitrate etc. The treated area is firstly numbed with local anesthesia. And finally, laser and traditional surgery are two additional approaches in treatment of pyogenic granuloma. Full thickness surgical excision is considered the most effective treatment modality for pyogenic granuloma.

Pyogenic granuloma in pregnant women may resolve on its own. Since there is no definitive treatment for pregnant women the doctor chooses among conservative surgery, dental care and cleaning and removal of calculus via a predetermined 'clean-up' of the region. In case of pyogenic granuloma of the nasal septum one is supposed to abstain from nose-picking.

Unfortunately, even the most careful and successful surgical removal does not mean the tumor will not reoccur.

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