Angiokeratomas – A Disease That Makes You Look Like A Tree

Angiokeratomas – A Disease That Makes You Look Like A Tree


Holly Keeble is 18 years old and can not be happier to have finished school. A birthmark became a nightmare for years.

“The doctors told me they had never seen anyone with something like that.”

This British girl was born with angiokeratomas , a disorder that causes the proliferation of dilated blood vessels on the surface of the skin creating a thick layer medically called epidermal hyperplasia .

The result is like a kind of blood blisters , as they are commonly known.

They can affect different areas of the body including the face and even thegenitalia , according to the Society of Primary Care in Dermatology of the United Kingdom.


View of how the marks look on Holly's leg.Copyright of the imageLAURA MCCLUSKEY
Image captionHolly Keeble what horrifies her the most is the face that people put on when they see their birthmark for the first time. (Photo: Laura McCluskey)

In many cases they grow as the body develops. Those of Holly Keeble extended over the years and now they occupy half a leg.

“The doctors wanted to stop them but they told me that they were like a tree and that if they put a skin graft, they would simply end up growing through it.”

Keeble remembers how badly he had it at school.

“In gym class I was changing outside [of the dressing room] to avoid seeing my birthmarks, I was really paranoid.”

Holly no longer has to go through such uncomfortable situations and says she is learning to live with this malformation by talking more openly about it with her family and friends.

“I’m more relaxed but the worst part is when people see it for the first time , the way they stay staring.”

Different color

Holly KeebleCopyright of the imageLAURA MCCLUSKEY
Image captionHolly is now under treatment and learning to cope with this skin problem. (Photo: Laura McCluskey)

Holly’s blisters also change color .

“Sometimes they become bright red, they are very striking.”

This is a characteristic of angiokeratomas. They can be purple , reddish or even black with a shiny, smooth roof that may or may not show peeling.

The worst is when people see them for the first time “

Holly Keeble

Its thickness also varies, reaching up to 5 or 6 millimeters , according to the College of Dermatology of the United States .

This same institution states that “when they touch they feel hard and can not be bleached, or fade, by compressing them, they can have an irregular surface that looks like they are called pebbles (boulders)”.

They are usually asymptomatic but occasionally they may bleed from rubbing with clothes or simply spontaneously.

It is usually treated as an aesthetic alteration since they do not present any risk to health but sometimes they can cause itching or burning sensation .

This is the case of Holly, who is looking for alternatives to eliminate it.

“I am following a treatment at the hospital Universi tyfrom Birmingham to relieve pain. ”

Types and treatments

Close-up of an operating roomCopyright of the imageGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThere are several options for treating angiokeratomas but not all are effective.

According to the Society of Primary Care in Dermatology of the United Kingdom, angiokeratomas are quite common and can be solitary or , appearing in a single place, usually the legs .

Those of Fordyce are emerging in the genitals and often multiple s , as small or medium speckles.

Those presented as a plaque composed of violaceous papules are circumscribed and are usually found in one of the lower limbs and those that arise in both the fingers and toes are the so-called bilateral .

To treat them there are several methods, although depending on the type and extension they are more or less effective.

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Rava Desk

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