Cherry angiomas are common, harmless spots on the skin. It is not necessary to remove them. However, it is possible to remove them if a person wishes to do so for cosmetic reasons.
This article discusses what cherry angiomas are, the medical treatments available to remove them, and how to live with these spots.
Cherry angiomas are common, harmless spots on the skin.
These spots are usually bright red domes that are up to 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) in diameter. They often appear on the trunk of the body and on the upper limbs. They appear less frequently on the hands, feet, and face.
Researchers do not know what causes cherry angiomas, but the following factors may play a part in their development:
- genetic mutations
- UV exposure
- certain medications, such as cyclosporine, or hormones
- malignancy (in the case of eruptive angiomatosis)
- human herpesvirus-8 (in the case of eruptive angiomatosis)
Cherry angiomas tend to be asymptomatic, which means that they simply exist on the skin without causing any other effects.
However, the spots may bleed if a person picks at them or they undergo any other form of trauma.
There is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that home remedies are effective at removing cherry angiomas. People should not try to remove them by cutting them off the skin. They should contact a doctor instead.
Although cherry angiomas are not harmful, it is always best to contact a doctor to get a professional diagnosis. This is because cherry angiomas can resemble amelanotic melanoma, which is a form of skin cancer.
It is important to take good care of the skin to prevent any potentially dangerous skin conditions from developing.
It is not medically necessary to remove cherry angiomas. However, a person may wish to remove them for cosmetic reasons. There are several options for doing this.
For example, a doctor may electrocauterize a small cherry angioma. During this process, an electric needle burns away and destroys the blood vessels.
If the angioma is large, the doctor may shave off the spot and electrocauterize the skin beneath.
Alternatively, they may recommend cryosurgery or CO2 laser surgery. Cryosurgery refers to when a doctor applies liquid nitrogen to the spot to freeze it off. Laser surgery removes the spot with a beam of light.
Removing a cherry angioma through medical treatment may lead to scarring. It is important to discuss any removal techniques with a qualified doctor to ensure that removing any spots is more beneficial to a person than potential scarring.
To reduce the risk of scarring, it is important to follow the advice of the doctor who performs the removal.
Although researchers do not know exactly what causes cherry angiomas, avoiding certain treatments and chemicals may reduce the likelihood of developing them.
For example, people should try to avoid topical nitrogen mustard therapy and using bromides on the skin.
It is also important to protect the skin from the sun. Although cherry angiomas are harmless, they may look similar to a form of skin cancer. When people expose their skin to the sun, it is important to wear:
- lightweight clothing
- long sleeved shirts and pants
- sunglasses that offer UV protection
- a wide-brimmed hat
- shoes that cover the feet
- sunscreen on all bare skin
People should also wear broad-spectrum, water resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. People should wear sunscreen whenever they are outside, even if it is cloudy and there is little to no visible sun.
It is also important to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours and to be extra careful in environments with surfaces that reflect the sun, such as near water, snow, or sand.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend the following self-care strategies to protect aging skin and help reduce discomfort:
- Avoid using bar soap when bathing and use water that is warm, not hot.
- Use a soft cloth to wash the skin, and when patting the skin dry, leave a little moisture on it.
- Use a fragrance-free moisturizer within 3 minutes of bathing.
- Use a humidifier if the skin feels dry, as heating and air conditioning can take moisture away from the air.
- Wear gloves when doing housework and gardening, as chemicals and sunlight may irritate the skin.
- Try to avoid using scented products, as these can irritate the skin.
- Go for regular checkups with a dermatologist, as the risk of skin cancer increases as people age, according to the AAD.
Cherry angiomas are common, harmless spots. It is not necessary to remove them.
However, if a person does want to remove these spots, it is important to visit a qualified doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that people can treat or remove cherry angiomas with home remedies.
It is also very important to take care of the skin and to avoid sun exposure, especially as people age. People can try various self-care strategies to protect their skin from the environment.