If you are 30 years of age or older and have noticed a small, bright red mole on your skin, don’t panic. It is probably something called a cherry angioma. Dermatology and Laser Centre has the best lasers to treat this condition with 100% effectiveness and no scarring.
What Are They?
Cherry angiomas are also called senile angiomas or Campbell de Morgan spots. They are the most common type of angiomas (benign tumors) that adults can develop on their skin.
These usually harmless and painless growths are often bright red (hence the name), but they can also be dark red, blue, purple, or even black. The color comes from the tiny bulging or broken blood vessels that form them. They are typically small, from the size of a pin-prick to ¼ inch in diameter, with a round or oval shape. They may be flat or slightly raised, but they usually feel firm to the touch, especially in the center. While they often appear on the trunk or abdomen, they can develop on the upper chest, shoulders, arms, neck and face as well.
What Causes Them?
The exact cause of cherry angiomas is not known, but some contributing factors have been identified:
- Genetics (family history)
- Pregnancy or hormonal changes
- Exposure to the sun
- Exposure to certain chemicals, especially bromide (found in pesticides and food additives)
- Liver disease or liver damage
Are Cherry Angiomas Dangerous?
No, they are typically not a cause for concern. However, if you notice changes in their size or texture, or if they become irritated or bleed, you should consult with Dr. Gallacher. A careful examination will rule out other possible conditions, including skin cancer.
In most cases, cherry angiomas do not need to be treated or removed. If, however, you want one removed for cosmetic reasons, or because it is in an area where it is easily rubbed by clothes or jewelry, this can be done quite easily.
Cherry angiomas can be removed by electrocauterization (burning), cryosurgery (freezing), or laser surgery.
Dr. Gallacher uses laser surgery because it is the best approach. The procedure involves using a concentrated beam of yellow light that gives off enough heat to destroy the angioma. Treatment is 100% effective, although it may require between one and three sessions of 30 to 60 minutes. There may be some temporary bruising following the procedure, but the chances of scarring are very minimal.
While most people do not seek treatment for their cherry angiomas, laser surgery is a quick, non-invasive, and comfortable option, should you decide to have yours removed.