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Cherry angioma

Definition

A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels.

Alternative Names

Angioma - cherry; Senile angioma; Campbell de Morgan spots; de Morgan spots

Causes

Cherry angiomas are 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, but they tend to be inherited (genetic).

Symptoms

 A cherry angioma is:

  • Bright cherry-red
  • Small -- pinhead size to about one quarter inch (0.5 centimeter) in diameter
  • Smooth, or can stick out from the skin

Your health care provider will look at the growth on your skin to diagnose a cherry angioma. No further tests are usually necessary. Sometimes a skin biopsy may be used to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

Cherry angiomas usually do not need to be treated. If they affect your appearance or bleed often, they may be removed by:

Outlook (Prognosis)

Cherry angiomas are noncancerous. They usually do not harm your health. Removal usually does not cause scarring.

A cherry angioma may cause:

  • Bleeding if it is injured
  • Changes in appearance
  • Emotional distress

Call your provider if:

  • You have symptoms of a cherry angioma and you would like to have it removed
  • The appearance of a cherry angioma (or any skin lesion) changes

References

Habif TP. Vascular tumors and malformations. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 23.

Patterson JW. Vascular tumors. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 38.

Review Date: 10/24/2016
Reviewed By: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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