What is a cherry angioma?
Cherry angiomas are small, pinhead-like lesions on your skin that appear most commonly on your torso, arms and legs of your body. Cherry angiomas are:
- About 2 millimeters (mm) to 4 mm in size.
- Light to dark red.
The term “cherry” references their color and appearance on the skin, as angiomas typically form in groups.
What are other names for a cherry angioma?
Cherry angiomas are also called Campbell de Morgan spots or senile angiomas (used when referring to their occurrence in older adults).
What is the difference between cherry angiomas and cherry hemangiomas?
Cherry angiomas and cherry hemangiomas are very similar in how they look, but are made of different cells. Angiomas are benign growths made of blood vessels or lymphatic vessels, whereas hemangiomas are small growths made of blood vessels only. Cherry angiomas are most commonly associated with adults. Hemangiomas can appear in early infancy through childhood.
How common are cherry angiomas?
An estimated 50% of adults have cherry angiomas on their skin after age 30. Cherry angiomas are also very common in about 75% of adults aged 75 years or older.
Who gets cherry angiomas?
Anyone can get cherry angiomas but most appear with age, with no difference in race or gender/sex. They can be present on healthy individuals and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Are cherry angiomas a sign of another medical condition?
Cherry angiomas aren’t dangerous or harmful. They’re benign growths that can easily be confused with melanoma and moles. Although it can be scary to see a new growth on your skin, cherry angiomas aren’t a sign of cancer.
Symptoms and Causes
What causes cherry angiomas?
The direct cause of cherry angiomas is unknown. But research has identified several factors that can cause cherry angiomas to appear on your skin, including:
- Pregnancy (hormones).
- Genetic mutations.
- Chemical exposure (topical nitrogen mustard, bromides and butoxyethanol).
What does a cherry angioma look like?
- Bumps on the skin (1 mm – 5 mm in diameter).
- Light to dark red in color.
- Surrounded by a pale halo.
- Often appear in groups.
Should cherry angiomas itch?
Cherry angiomas are asymptomatic and shouldn’t itch. If you notice your skin feels itchy near angiomas, be cautious not to scratch the area because you could irritate the angioma and cause it to bleed.
An itchy bump on your skin could be caused by several factors that aren’t related to the angioma, including:
If you notice the bump on your skin continues to itch and is causing you discomfort, contact your healthcare provider for treatment.
Why are women who are pregnant at more of a risk for cherry angiomas?
Though the reason for their origin is unknown, cherry angiomas are often seen among people who are pregnant. Studies show that hormones and high prolactin levels (a hormone made by your pituitary gland) may be a factor in their development on your skin during pregnancy. Often, cherry angiomas will involute (reduce in size or disappear on their own) after delivery.
Diagnosis and Tests
How are cherry angiomas diagnosed?
Cherry angiomas are diagnosed by a visual examination of your skin. No tests are needed to diagnose this condition.
Management and Treatment
How are cherry angiomas treated?
No treatment is necessary to treat cherry angiomas. You may prefer to have cherry angiomas removed because you don’t like how they look.
What should I do if my cherry angioma is bleeding?
Since cherry angiomas are raised bumps on your skin, they could easily be scratched or injured, which could cause bleeding or infection. If your cherry angioma is bleeding, treat the area of your skin as a wound, by cleaning it, applying antibacterial ointment and covering it with a bandage.
Can I remove cherry angiomas?
Yes, cherry angiomas are commonly removed because people don’t like how they look on their skin or the location of the angioma bleeds frequently due to injury. A surgeon can remove your cherry angioma. Often, the removal of cherry angiomas can cause scarring. Don’t attempt to remove cherry angiomas at home. O, only trained medical professionals should remove angiomas from your skin for your safety.
How are cherry angiomas removed?
Cherry angiomas are removed by:
- Electrodesiccation (electric needle).
- Liquid nitrogen (cold gas).
Will my cherry angiomas come back after I get them removed?
Sometimes cherry angiomas will return to your skin after you get them removed. If they do come back, you don’t need to worry because they’re harmless.
How can I prevent cherry angiomas from appearing on my skin?
Since the direct cause of cherry angiomas is unknown, there isn’t a prevention tip that’s 100% successful. It’s recommended that you avoid specific chemicals or treatments, including topical nitrogen mustard, bromides and butoxyethanol, which are known to cause cherry angiomas.
Outlook / Prognosis
What can I expect if I have cherry angiomas?
If you have cherry angiomas, the outlook is positive because they’re very common and harmless. Unless the angioma is bothering you, it doesn’t need to be treated.
When should I see my healthcare provider?
Since cherry angiomas are harmless, there isn’t a need to rush to a healthcare provider for medical attention. If your cherry angiomas are bothering you or frequently bleeding due to injury, talk to your healthcare provider about treating or removing the angiomas.
What questions should I ask my healthcare provider?
- Are these bumps cherry angiomas or a sign of melanoma?
- How can I prevent injury to my cherry angiomas and skin?
- What’s the process for removing cherry angiomas?
- Will removal of cherry angiomas cause scarring?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Cherry angiomas are very common and harmless to your overall health. Although new bumps on your skin may be alarming, cherry angiomas are a natural part of the aging process. There’s no need to get angiomas removed unless you don’t like how they look.
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