What Are Cherry Angiomas?
Cherry angiomas are common skin growths that can grow on most areas
of your body. They are also known as senile angiomas or Campbell de Morgan
spots, and they are usually found on people ages 30 and older. The broken blood
vessels inside a cherry angioma give them a reddish appearance.
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This type of skin growth is typically not a cause for concern
unless it bleeds often or changes in size, shape, or color. Talk to your doctor
if you notice any changes in appearance or bleeding; these could be symptoms of
What Do They Look Like?
A cherry angioma is bright red, circular or oval shape, and small
— ranging in size from a pinpoint to one-fourth of an inch in diameter. Some
cherry angiomas appear smooth and even with your skin, while others appear
slightly raised. They most often grow on the torso, arms, and shoulders.
Bleeding can occur if the angioma is scratched, rubbed, or cut
What Causes Cherry Angiomas?
The exact cause of cherry angiomas is unknown, but there may be a
genetic factor that makes certain people more likely to get them. They’ve also
been linked to pregnancy, exposure to chemicals, and climate. There also appears
to be a link between cherry angiomas and age. They often begin to appear when
individuals reach age 30, and seem to increase in size and number with age.
When to Seek Medical Treatment for Cherry
If you notice any changes in the way a cherry angioma looks,
schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. It is important to have any
type of lesion or growth looked at when its appearance changes so that your
doctor can rule out serious conditions, such as skin cancer.
Your doctor may decide to do a biopsy, which involves removing
and examining a small sample of the angioma, in order to diagnose or rule out
other serious conditions.
How Are Cherry Angiomas Treated?
You probably won’t need to have a cherry angioma treated, but you
do have options if you want it removed for cosmetic reasons, or if you need it
removed because it is in an area that is easily bumped, which can lead to
regular bleeding. There are a few common procedures for removing cherry
This surgical method of treatment involves burning the angioma by
using an electric current delivered by a tiny probe. For this procedure, you
will also have a grounding pad placed somewhere on your body to shield the rest
of your body from the electricity.
This procedure involves freezing the angioma with liquid
nitrogen, and the extreme cold will destroy it. This method is known for being
a quick and relatively easy procedure. You only need one treatment session for
cryosurgery to work, and the liquid nitrogen is usually sprayed for only about
10 seconds. The wound doesn’t require much care afterward, and there is a lower
chance of infection compared to other types of surgeries.
This type of surgery involves using a pulsed dye laser (PDL) to
get rid of the cherry angioma. The PDL is a concentrated yellow laser that
gives off enough heat to destroy the lesion. This method is quick and is done
as an outpatient procedure, which means you will not have to stay in the
hospital overnight. Depending on how many angiomas you have, you may need
between one and three treatment sessions. This surgery can cause slight
bruising, which can last up to 10 days.
This procedure involves slicing away at the angioma in thin
layers until it’s gone. Shave excision is an alternative to invasive surgery
that would involve cutting out the lesion or growth and using stitches or
sutures to close the wound.
If you do have angiomas removed with any of these surgery types,
scarring is uncommon.
Cherry Angiomas and Long-Term Outlook
A cherry angioma won’t go away on its own, but it’s also not
likely to cause you any problems, although it can bleed from time to time if
your clothes rub against it.
However, a cherry angioma that changes in size, shape, or color
is cause for concern and should be looked at by your dermatologist.