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Cherry angioma

Definition

A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth.

Alternative Names

Angioma - cherry; Senile angioma

Causes

Cherry angiomas 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.

Symptoms

Skin lesion or growth:

  • Bright cherry-red
  • Small -- pinhead size to about 1/4 inch in diameter
  • Smooth

Exams and Tests

Your health care provider will probably diagnose a cherry angioma based on the appearance of the growth. No further tests are usually necessary, though a skin biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Cherry angiomas generally do not need to be treated. If they are cosmetically unattractive or they bleed often, angiomas may be removed by:

  • Burning (electrosurgery/cautery)
  • Freezing (cryotherapy)
  • Laser
  • Surgery

Outlook (Prognosis)

Cherry angiomas are noncancerous and generally harmless. Removal usually does not cause scarring.

Possible Complications

  • Bleeding if they are injured
  • Changes in appearance
  • Psychological distress

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have symptoms of a cherry angioma and you would like to have it removed.

Also call if the appearance of a cherry angioma or any skin lesion changes.


Review Date: 10/3/2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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