Cherry angiomas, also known as Assenile angiomas or Morgan spots, are benign tumors caused by a growth of blood vessels or capillaries that appear on the skin as red moles. This is one of the most common types of angiomas. Cherry angiomas are non-cancerous and often develop in adults over 30 years of age. They tend to flare up as individual age. A study done by the American Family Physician showed that 50% of adults in the world develop cherry angioma in their lifetime.
A cherry angioma has a bright red color and is either circular or oval-shaped. It can be as small as a pinpoint or as big as approximately a quarter of an inch in diameter. Some of the moles are smooth and of the same level as the skin while others appear raised a tad bit. The most common locations include the arms, torso, shoulders, and legs. If scratched, cut open or rubbed, an angioma can bleed.
The exact cause of cherry angioma is yet to be uncovered but genetics, exposure to chemicals, pregnancy, climate and certain medical conditions have been linked to it. The most common cause according to 2009 study, however, is aging. Most individuals begin to see the moles at about 30 years of age with a progressive increase in number and size with age. The study discovered that over 75% of the world’s population age 75 have cherry angioma.
This condition is typically harmless unless the skin growth changes in shape, size or color or if you notice bleeding associated with it. In most instances, there is no need to remove them. However, if you want them out of your body for cosmetic or medical reasons, there are a few procedures that you can use:
This is a surgical method that uses electric current to burn the cherry angioma. The current is typically transmitted through a tiny probe. A surgeon essentially cuts through soft tissue so as to have a good view of the blood vessels and seal off blood vessels and capillaries that are bleeding. This helps prevent further blood loss hence keeping the site clean.
Excision involves chopping off or shaving the lesion. It is a rather straightforward procedure but one that can be painful afterward. Anesthesia helps keep the pain away during the procedure but a level of discomfort might come after the procedure. This method can also result in scarring.
If cutting and burning isn’t your cup of tea, you can try freezing the angioma instead. This method is known as cryosurgery. Liquid nitrogen is used to destroy the cherry angioma. It is a fast and easy procedure. The nitrogen is sprayed on the angioma for around 10 seconds. You just need one session to deal with the lesion. This is not forgetting the fact that the wound heals faster afterward.
In Laser surgery, the cherry angioma is removed by means of a pulsed dye laser (PDL). This is a type of concentrated yellow laser that emits heat energy to destroy the lesion. Like cryosurgery, laser surgery is fast and easy. Depending on the number of lesions you have, you will probably need anywhere from one to three outpatient appointments. The procedure can lead to bruising but this will wear off after a maximum of 10 days.
Do these procedures sound like too much hassle? You could just skip all of them and keep your lesions—unless the doctor has said they need to be removed one way or the other.