What causes cherry angiomas?
Cherry angiomas, also known as red-spots or Campbell de Morgan spots, are benign harmless, but permanent overgrowth of skin blood vessels. Specifically, they are an overgrowth of vascular endothelial cells (cells that line the inside of blood vessels). They tend to increase in size and number with age, and often have no cause. One study showed 75% of people at the age of 75 have at least 1. Occasionally, they can be secondary to hormonal changes, particularly pregnancy.
They are typically not a cause for concern unless they are changing size, shape or are bleeding frequently. If this occurs see you local doctor for an assessment.
Who gets cherry angiomas?
They are very common in all races, and all ages. They become more common with age.
What do cherry angiomas look like?
They are often small bright red circular or oval structures that can range from a pin head to half a cm in size. They may be flat, raised, red, blue or varying shades of purple. If they become thrombosed (blood clots within them), they may appear black.
Any changing or black lesion should be evaluated by a doctor.
How do you prevent cherry angiomas?
There is no known way to prevent cherry angiomas from growing.
Can you have a cherry angioma in your teens or 20s?
While they are more common in older age, they are normal in teens and those in their 20s.
Are cherry angiomas normal?
Yes. Most people will have at least one cherry angioma on their body at some point in their lives.
How many cherry angiomas are normal?
There is no determined normal number of cherry angiomas. Some people have one, some have hundreds.
What is not normal is if you have an explosion of growth over the course of days to weeks of tens to hundreds appearing. This should prompt you to visit your doctor for assessment.
Can cherry angiomas grow?
Yes. They can tend to slowly grow over time. Some however, may form then stay the same size.
Are cherry angiomas contagious?
No. Cherry angiomas are not contagious.
Are cherry angiomas flat?
Whilst most are slightly raised. There are some cherry angiomas that are flat. All cherry angiomas will start off at flat when they are developing.
Are cherry angiomas dangerous?
True cherry angiomas present on the skin are not dangerous. However, as with any new skin lesion, these should be checked by your doctor.
Can cherry angiomas bleed?
Yes. Although uncommon, If exposed to trauma they may bleed.
What are the other names for cherry angiomas?
Cherry angiomas are also called:
- Senile angiomas
- campbell de morgan spots
- Red moles
How are cherry angiomas treated?
These red spots are easily removed with our laser technologies (PDL, long pulse nd:YAG or IPL). Treatments take up to 5 minutes and may require 2-3 treatment sessions to remove the red spot completely. There is no downtime, and we can remove every red spot on your body during the same session, although we do suggest limiting treatments to 50 spots maximum in one sitting.
Other options you may read about include:
- Cryotherapy- not recommended as they are very likely to scar
- Electrocautery- this is often not required unless in a hair bearing area such as the scalp
- Cut out with scalpel- not recommended unless rapidly growing/changing
How many laser treatments will I need to remove the cherry angioma?
In most cases only one treatment is necessary. Larger stubborn cherry angiomas may require 3-5 sessions. This is uncommon.
How do you remove cherry angiomas from the scalp?
The best option for removing a cherry angioma on the scalp is our radio frequency Surgitron or Tempsure. This is a form of electrosurgery that zaps away the cherry angioma at its base in one sitting.
Can cherry angiomas be treated with cream?
No, cherry angiomas will not go away with cream.