What is it?
Cherry Angiomas, also known as Campbell De Morgan Spots or red moles, are common benign (non-cancerous) outgrowths form the skin found typically in individuals greater than age of 30 and can develop in any almost any area of the body. Generally, lesions can increase in number, size, and thickness with age. These benign outgrowths contain a small collection of blood vessels, causing its reddish or purple appearance. Due to the clusters of blood vessels being superficial, they can bleed when traumatized.
Are they Dangerous?
Cherry Angiomas are not a cause for concern as they are benign growths and do not cause harm to the body. Other than lesions that are highly visible and cause distress due to cosmetic reasons, they typically do not need to be treated. In certain studies, an estimate of 75% of individuals over the age of 75 develop cherry angiomas.
What's the Treatment?
Cherry angiomas are benign (non-cancerous) growths and typically do not need to be treated. Removal of cherry angiomas is usually for aesthetic reasons. There are different treatment methods for these lesions depending on the size of the lesions. When small, they can be treated with pulse dye laser, cryosurgery (freezing the lesion off) or with electrocautery (burning the lesions with an electric probe). If the lesion is large, a surgical excision is recommended to limit scarring, to completely remove the root of the lesion is prevent recurrence in the same area.
What happens after Treatment?
If the lesion is surgically excised, the specimen is sent to a pathologist who examines it under the microscope to confirm the diagnosis and to ensure that the lesion is completely excised. You come back to the office/clinic for a follow up in 5-7 days, if the lesion was on your face, or 10-14 days if the lesion was on an area other than your face. The follow up appointment for a review of the pathology report, to check on the incision and to remove or trim your sutures. If the lesion is cauterized, the lesion will typically scab over and heal over a 2week duration. No sutures are placed in this situation and because the lesions are burned, a specimen is not available to be sent to a pathologist. No follow is needed, but patients are advised to wear sunscreen whenever outside over the next 6 months to prevent hyperpigmentation (increase darkness) of the area.
What Causes it?
It is unknow how Cherry angiomas are formed as there is it not prone to form in an specific race, sex of age group. Lesions typically present after the age of 30 and can run in families, indicating a possible genetic cause. Cherry angiomas have also been link to exposure to certain chemicals and pregnancy as pregnant women sometimes develop these growths.
What do they look like?
Cherry angiomas are bright red to deep purple in colour and take on a circular or oval in shape. Their colour comes from the cluster of blood vessels that grown beneath the skin surface and they are usually small in size, ranging from a pinpoint area to a half a centimeter in size. The benign growths can be both raised or flat and continue to increase in size and thickness with time. Cherry angiomas present in all races, sexes and age groups and can grow anywhere on the body.