A cherry angioma is considered as a common growth on the skin that develops on most regions of the body. These growths are typically found among individuals aged 30 and older. The damaged blood vessels within a cherry angioma provides its reddish appearance.
This form of skin growth is not an issue for concern unless it is bleeding often or changes in size, color or shape. A doctor should be consulted if there is any bleeding or alterations in the appearance since these might be indications of skin cancer.
Characteristics of a cherry angioma
A cherry angioma is often bright red in appearance with an oval or circle shape. It is small in size ranging from a pinpoint up to ¼ of an inch in span. In some cases, they appear smooth and even with the skin while others are slightly elevated. Most usually develop on the arms, torso and the shoulders. Remember that bleeding can occur if it is rubbed, scratched or sliced open.
What are the causes?
The precise cause of a cherry angioma is unknown but there are hereditary factors that makes some individuals likely to develop one. They are often linked to the climate, exposure to certain chemicals and even pregnancy.
There is also a connection with age and often start to develop among individuals who reach 30 years old and increases in size and number with age as well.
When to seek medical care
If there are any changes in the appearance of a cherry angioma, set an appointment with a doctor. It is vital to have any form of lesion or growth assessed when its appearance changes. The doctor might be able to rule out other serious conditions particularly skin cancer.
The doctor might perform a biopsy which involves obtaining and analysis of a sample of the area to diagnose or rule out other possible conditions.
An individual with a cherry angioma might not require treatment but there are options if the individual wants to have it removed for aesthetic reasons. Another reason for its removal is that the area is bumped easily that can result to regular bleeding. There are several procedures that are used for removal.
- Electrocauterization – this is a surgical method that involves burning of the cherry angioma using an electric current delivered by a small-sized probe.
- Cryosurgery – this procedure involves freezing using liquid nitrogen. This option is considered as a rapid and relatively simple procedure with a low risk for infection.
- Laser surgery – this involves the use of a pulsed dye laser to eliminate the angioma which is performed as an outpatient procedure
- Shave excision – this involves the removal of the upper region of the skin in which the growth is sliced out and sutures or stitches are used to seal the wound.