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Cherry angioma

A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels.

Alternative Names

Angioma - cherry; Senile angioma

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cherry angiomas are fairly common skin growths that vary in size. They can occur almost anywhere on the body, but usually develop on the trunk.

They are most common after age 30. The cause is unknown, but they tend to be inherited (genetic).

Symptoms

 A cherry angioma is:

  • Bright cherry-red
  • Small -- pinhead size to about 1/4 inch in diameter
  • Smooth, or can stick out from the skin

Signs and tests

Your health care provider will look at the growth on your your skin to diagnose a cherry angioma. No further tests are usually necessary. Sometimes a skin biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Cherry angiomas usually do not need to be treated. If they are affect your appearance or bleed often, angiomas may be removed by:

  • Burning (electrosurgery/cautery)
  • Freezing (cryotherapy )
  • Laser
  • Shave excision

Expectations (prognosis)

Cherry angiomas are noncancerous. They usually do not harm your health. Removal usually does not cause scarring.

Complications

  • Bleeding if the growth is injured
  • Changes in appearance
  • Emotional distress

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if:

  • You have symptoms of a cherry angioma and you would like to have it removed
  • The appearance of a cherry angioma or any skin lesion changes

References

Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier;2009:chap.23

Woodhouse JG, Tomecki KJ.  Common Benign Growths. In: Carey WD, ed.Cleveland Clinic: Current Clinical Medicine 2010. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010.



 

Updated: 11/20/2012

Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.


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