EEEWWW! I hate these little red spots!
Those are exactly my sentiments when I see one of these little beauties pop up. Can’t stand ’em! In my case, I know they’re hereditary. My mom got them. She said her dad had them. LOVELY! Probably means my beautiful little kids will get them too. Some things you really don’t want to pass on to your children.
So what are those little red spots anyway?
Cherry angiomas are bright cherry red, usually oval or circular, and small. They range from the size of a pinpoint up to ¼ of an inch in diameter. Some are level with your skin and some are raised. Others grow to become spongy, dome or mushroom shaped.
Most often these angiomas are found on the torso, arms and shoulders. They are a non-cancerous skin growth made up of dilated blood vessels. Cherry angiomas are also called Campbell De Morgan spots or Senile angiomas.
Why do I get them?
Cherry angiomas occur most frequently in people 30 years or older. No one knows what causes these red spots, but there seems to be a genetic component. They have been linked to pregnancy, exposure to chemicals and climate.
Most cherry angiomas are painless and harmless. People generally only need to have one removed if its location causes it to be easily bumped resulting in bleeding. Large angiomas, when injured, can bleed profusely. For this reason, do not puncture or try to remove them yourself. You also have options if you want a cherry angioma removed for cosmetic reasons.
Common procedures for removing cherry angiomas with a low risk of scarring include:
- Electrocauterization and radiofrequency—These treat the angioma by using an electric current delivered by a tiny probe.
- Cryosurgery—This procedure involves freezing the angioma with liquid nitrogen. The extreme cold destroys the angioma.
- Laser Surgery—This is a type of surgery involving a pulse dye laser that gives off enough heat to destroy the angioma.
- Shave Excision—This procedure slices away the angioma in thin layers until it is gone.
As always, call your health care provider if the appearance of a cherry angioma – or any skin lesion – changes.
Many medical spas and dermatologist’s offices use radiofrequency to treat cherry angiomas. A high frequency electric current is applied using a very fine needle-shaped electrode to cause thermal (heat) damage to the blood vessel. After treatment, scabs form on the treated areas and last about a week. Large angiomas may require more than one treatment. This method is a time proven, highly effective method of treatment that can be offered for a fraction of the cost of laser treatments.
If you think you might be interested in other methods of skin rejuvenation, check out our blog post, You’ve decided to do some skin rejuvenation, but how do you decide what to work on first? Thanks for reading!
Amy Takken, RN
Amy Takken is a registered nurse with 20+ years of experience helping people improve their health. Her in-depth skincare articles have been featured on Nazarian Plastic Surgery and The Palm Beach Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery. She's also been quoted on Dermascope.com. Amy loves research and constantly watches for new products and treatments to help you improve your skin’s health – because healthy skin is beautiful! To reach Amy, visit our contact page.
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The Information provided on our website is not medical advice and should not be viewed as such. By law, only a medical doctor can diagnose or give medical advice. As a registered nurse, my goal is to educate, so I provide information on skin care, skin care products, and skin care treatments. If you have any condition that concerns you, please see a medical doctor. While most skin conditions are benign, some – like melanoma – can be deadly. If there is any doubt, please, please consult your physician. Thank you!