Angiokeratoma is a harmless skin condition manifesting through small 2 to 5 mm spots on the scrotum or the vulva, ranging in colour from red to black, with a potentially rough or scaly surface. Angiokeratomas are in fact dilated cutaneous capillaries that can easily bleed if scratched or harmed. Appearing on the scrotum or the vulva, these genital skin bumps called angiokeratomas are usually mistaken for STIs but they are in fact harmless, asymptomatic, painless, are not contagious in any way and are not related to personal hygiene.
There are five types of angiokeratomas:
- Sporadic angiokeratomas, which are solitary lesions appearing on the lower extremities, generally in 40-yer-old individuals
- Angiokeratomas of Mibelli (AKM) or telangiectatic warts are a rather rare autosomal dominant disease appering on the knees, elbows and backsides of the hands, usually in children and young adults
- Angiokeratoma circumscriptum, a vascular malformation appearing in a reduced cluster of lesions on the leg or trunk, with a possibility to darken and change in colour and size in time.
- Fabry syndrome or Angiokeratoma corporis diffusum a rare genetically inherited disorder caused by an enzyme deficiency, being widespread, mostly on the lower trunk and groin area. This is a serious case of angiokeratoma affecting males to a higher extent and has symptoms such as fever and pain in the hand and feet areas. If left untreated, it may result in kidney and heart failure, corneal opacities, arthritis, colitis and several other health issues, an accurate diagnosis and treatment being mandatory.
- Angiokeratoma of Fordyce (not to be confused with Fordyce Spots) is the most common of its category, appearing in both males and females on the scrotum, respectively the vulvar area. These scrotal and vaginal skin tags mostly appear in people over 40, with a greater prevalence in men than women and are asymptomatic, requiring treatment only with scrotal bleeding symptoms and solely for cosmetic purposes.
Angiokeratoma causes are not well-determined, except for the Fabry’s Syndrome, but specialists determined a few probable factors that trigger these unaesthetic scrotal bumps. An increased blood vessel pressure may dilate or even rupture the capillaries, leading to the appearance of small, red, purple or black genital skin bumps. Enzyme disorders such as fucosidosis and GM gangliosidosis, characterized through a specific enzyme deficiency, alpha-fucosidase enzyme for the former and B and C isoenzymes of beta-galactosidase for the latter. And finally, another cause of angiokeratomas is the Fabry syndrome, which is a rarer case of angiokeratoma corporis diffusum, a genetic disorder characterized through an enzyme deficiency that disintegrates lipids.
Scrotal angiokeratomas and vaginal angiokeratomas, but not only, can now be treated effectively and cosmetically at Renew Skin & Health Clinic, where a specialized physical examination is also performed as to rule out any other potentially malignant skin lesions (due to its scaly, dark appearance, angiokeratoma may mimic melanomas). Angiokeratoma on the scrotum treatment can be performed through excision and cryotherapy, but the CO laser ablation therapy and electrodessication with radiosurgery, have proven to ensure far superior cosmetic results. The effectiveness of the angiokeratoma genital skin condition can only be ensured by specialized practitioners, that’s why Renew Skin & Health Clinic is the best choice when it comes to such treatments being performed on the genital areas.