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What is a Cherry Angioma?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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A cherry angioma is a growth on the skin which is benign in nature. Many people develop cherry angiomas later in life, with the age of onset usually being over 40, although younger people can get them as well. For the most part, the growth is not a cause for concern, although if it is viewed as a cosmetic defect or if it interferes with the patient's life, a dermatologist can remove it, using a technique such as cryosurgery, laser surgery, or electrosurgery to take the growth off neatly.

The structure of a cherry angioma includes a number of enlarged and weakened blood vessels, surrounded by lymph. The growth often takes the form of a dome in the skin, and the top may be slightly flattened. The color ranges from bright cherry red to dark purple. These types of angiomas occur most commonly on the trunk of the body, especially on the back, but they can show up in other areas as well.

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For some patients, the growth may be unsightly. For others, a cherry angioma in the wrong place can feel uncomfortable when it is subjected to pressure by things like waist bands, bra straps, or the straps of bags and backpacks. In these situations, it may be a good idea to remove the growth so that the patient will feel more comfortable. Removal of a cherry angioma is an outpatient procedure which usually only takes a few minutes; the longest part of the procedure is often the wait for local anesthetic to set in.

Because cherry angiomas are rich in blood vessels, they tend to bleed freely when they are injured. For this reason, it is not advisable to try to puncture a cherry angioma. The growths can also start bleeding if they are subjected to stress or pressure, as might happen when one gets trapped in the folds of someone's clothing. If a cherry angioma does start to bleed, the patient should gently wash the area with warm soapy water, and apply pressure with a cotton ball or pad until the bleeding slows. Bandaging can be advisable to prevent seepage onto clothing.

The reason cherry angiomas form is not understood. They do appear to be linked with aging, since they appear more in older adults, and sometimes they form in response to chemical exposure. However, since the growths are benign, few researchers are interested in attempting to get into the specific details of finding out how and why these growths form.

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drtroubles
Post 2

@popcorn – I had cherry angiomas removal done a few weeks ago and it is actually a really fast procedure. I think the worst part was stressing out about how much it was going to hurt later on.

I would actually compare the removal process to what they do when they remove a wart. It doesn't require much downtime at all. Though I found the removal site ached for awhile after the anesthetic wore off. Though my doctor did give me some pain killers just in case. I think if your mother is worried about the appearance of her cherry angioma that she should have them removed. There is no sense being unhappy with something that is so easy to take care of.

popcorn
Post 1

My mother has recently developed some cherry angioma on her back and it is really concerning her. She is getting older but still takes a lot of pride in her appearance and is worried that the cherry angioma will get bigger.

Has anyone undergone cherry angioma treatment?

My mother is seriously considering cherry angioma removal as purely a cosmetic procedure. She doesn't want to wear a bathing suit in public with the little red lumps visible. Also, with cherry angiomas treatment, how long does it take to recover? While I know it is done on an outpatient basis, is the area sore for a long time?

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