Cherry angiomas are smooth dome like small bumps on the skin that are very bright cherry red to purple in appearance and can develop anywhere on the body. However, angiomas are most often found on the trunk of the body, especially on the chest area. They are a common skin problem with many people around the world. The angiomas can vary in size, but generally they only grow to about two millimeters in diameter, although in some more rare cases they can be up to two centimeters or almost an inch or more in diameter.
The red color and bump is due to an abnormal amount or clustering of blood vessels or capillaries in the small little skin area that is affected. The angiomas tend to occur more often in adults older than 30 to 40 years of age. They are non-cancerous or benign growths and are not contagious and cannot be spread to others with skin to skin contact. Other names for these angiomas that are often found in the literature include senile angiomas, De Morgan spots, or Campbell de Morgan spots, named after the surgeon that discovered them.
Below is a close-up picture of a typical cherry red angioma spot on the skin.
Angiomas tend to appear spontaneously on the skin for no apparent reason. A definitive cause for these cherry red bumps is unknown.
A treatment for this skin disorder is usually not required because they are benign growths. If a treatment is desired for cosmetic reasons or bleeding issues that are usually associated with the size of the angioma, then the options are: removal by burning or electrosurgery, removal by freezing with liquid nitrogen or cryosurgery as is commonly done with warts, laser treatments such as Intense Pulsed Laser or IPL, or excision surgery which is simply cutting the angioma out of the skin.
Note that if the appearance of a cherry angioma changes, then consultation with a medical professional is recommended to ensure that no serious skin or health issues are present. Also, if they occur in an aggressive eruptive fashion, then this should be a concern because it may be a symptom of an internal malignancy. Therefore, although these bumps are generally not a serious skin or healthy concern, it is a good idea to be vigilant. Any of the cherry angiomas on the body should be regularly monitored to ensure they are not changing in color, appearance, or size. A good resource to consult if there is concern about skin cancer is the five signs of skin cancer page.
More information on some other types of skin problems and skin rashes can be found at the links below.
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