What is Angioma?
Cherry angiomas, (also referred to as senile angioma or Campbell de Morgan spots) are red-to-purple spots that often appear on the torso of the body. They may also sometimes develop on the legs, arms, chest and scalp. They are benign skin growths made up of dilated blood vessels and are common in adults. There are often a large number of these lesions.
Cherry angiomas may vary in size, from a small blotch to several millimetres in diameter. Whilst they can be felt as little bumps, they can also be smooth and flat. They may occasionally bleed, especially if constantly rubbed.
What else could it be?
Sometime skin cancers such as a basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or melanoma may appear similar to a cherry angioma. Any persistent red spot that does not go away or enlarges must be checked by your GP or dermatologist.
What Causes Cherry Angiomas?
The exact causes of cherry angiomas remains unknown. Here are some factors that are thought to contribute to the development of these lesions.
- Age: Age is the most obvious contributor to the development of cherry angiomas. They increase in number and size usually after 40 years of age.
- Genetics: Genetics play a role in determining whether or not you are likely to develop cherry angiomas on the skin. If your parents or grandparents have them, you have a higher change of developing them.
- Hormones: Some changes in hormone levels also facilitate the development of cherry angiomas. Just because you have cherry angiomas however does not mean you have a problem with your hormones.
Cherry Angiomas typically do not need any treatment unless they are bothersome. They are treated for cosmetic purposes or if they are bleeding due to trauma or friction. At Melbourne Skin & Dermatology, we provide the following treatments for Cherry Angiomas.
- Vascular Lasers: A single concentrated beam of laser is targeted to the cherry angioma. This makes the angioma appear darker for a few days before they disappear. Vascular Laser treatment allows for multiple lesions to be treated in the one session
- Fine Wire Diathermy: This procedure involves touching the angioma with an electrical need which breaks up and destroys the lesion. This treatment is usually reserved for smaller cherry angiomas and when there are only a few to treat.
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