Causes and Treatments for Cherry Angiomas

Cherry angiomas are red spots on the skin with a deep color that mirrors their name. Cherry angiomas are not cancerous; they are benign growths which are usually perfectly harmless. Generally, the only problem they cause is aesthetic in nature, causing the appearance of a permanent blood-colored scar on the skin, but they are usually very small. In the event that one wants them removed, there are a few medical treatments for cherry angiomas.

Cherry angiomas affect people more frequently with age. According to the University of Pennsylvania Health System, cherry angiomas most frequently affect people over 30. They appear on the skin as small dots with a deep cherry red color and a smooth texture. Cherry angiomas may begin as small specks; over time, they can grow to as large as half a centimeter. They most commonly develop on the base of the body, though they can also develop on the face, head, neck, and limbs.

The specific cause of cherry angiomas is unknown. They are usually diagnosed through a visual examination of the growth. When they are mere millimeters in size, located on the base of the body, and have a bright red color, they are usually easily recognized and diagnosed. If there is any question about the identity of the growth, a biopsy may be taken for testing.

Because they cause no harm, cherry angiomas almost always require no treatment at all. Cherry angiomas are rarely treated medically. In the event that a cherry angioma is problematic somehow or when a person afflicted is dedicated to its removal, there are a few available treatments for cherry angioma.

One treatment for cherry angioma can be freezing the growth through a method known as cryotherapy. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that cryotherapy is a removal method involving the use of a probe containing liquid nitrogen which can generate extreme freezing temperatures on a section of tissue, in this case on a cherry angioma.

On the other end of the spectrum, the growth may be singed off. Another treatment for cherry angioma involves burning or cutting the growth through methods known as cautery or electrosurgery. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, in electrosurgery for cherry angiomas, electric current is used to remove the growth and limit bleeding. Cautery is also an option because cherry angiomas are naturally small.

Cherry angiomas are red skin growths that range in size from a speck to the width of a fingertip. They are usually not problematic medically, though they can be visually unappealing and treatments for cherry angiomas tend to be simple procedures. If you have any questions about cherry angiomas or their removal, talk to your doctor.