Cherry Angioma

Cherry angiomas are noncancerous (benign) skin growths. They are made up of a clump of blood vessels. They occur most often in people over the age of 30.

CAUSES

The cause of these skin growths is unknown, but they appear to run in families.

SYMPTOMS

Cherry angiomas are smooth, round, red bumps on the skin. They can be as small as a pinhead or as big as a pencil eraser. The color may darken to a purplish red over time. Cherry angiomas are usually found on the trunk, but they can occur anywhere on the body. They are painless, but they may bleed if they are injured. The bleeding is not serious and will stop when firm pressure is applied.

DIAGNOSIS

Your caregiver can usually tell what is wrong by performing a physical exam. A tissue sample (biopsy) may also be taken and examined under a microscope.

TREATMENT

Usually no treatment is needed for cherry angiomas. They may be removed for improved appearance (cosmetic) reasons. Sometimes, cherry angiomas come back after removal. Removal methods include:

  • Electrocautery. Heat is used to burn the growth off the skin.

  • Cryosurgery. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the growth to freeze it. The growth eventually falls off the skin.

  • Surgery.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • If your skin was covered with a bandage, change and remove the bandage as directed by your caregiver.

  • Check your skin regularly for any changes.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

You notice any changes or new growths on your skin.