Friday, December 19, 2014

Definition

Cherry angioma is a cherry-red to purple colored benign skin tumor of unknown origin that appears most frequently after age 40.

Description

Cherry angiomas are the most common vascular lesions to appear on human skin. They are made up of clusters of dilated capillaries on the surface of the skin, which accounts for the cherry-red or purple color. No one knows exactly what causes them.

Cherry angiomas can occur almost anywhere on the skin, but most commonly on the torso. They rarely occur on the hands or feet. When they first occur, cherry angiomas are about the size of a pinhead and do not protrude above the surface of the skin. However, some grow to 1/4 inch across or more, and become spongy and dome- or mushroom-shaped.

A cherry angioma is painless and harmless, but many persons want them removed for cosmetic reasons. Large angiomas can bleed profusely when they are injured. Because of this, don't puncture them or try to remove them yourself.

You can develop cherry angiomas anytime in your life, but they are most frequent after the age of 40. Reseachers have found that more than 70 percent of people age 70 or older have cherry angiomas. The cherry-red "bumps" develop alone or in groups, most often on the torso and frequently on the face, scalp, neck, arms and legs.

Treatment

The most common procedures used are (1) electrosurgery – a minor surgical procedure during where a special electrical needle-like instrument is used to remove the angioma, (2) cryotherapy – freezing the affected area with liquid nitrogen, and (3) laser vaporization – using an intense beam of light to remove the angioma. This technique involves minimal harm to surrounding skin tissue. Unless the lesion is particularly large (1/4 inch across or more), you can expect excellent cosmetic results.

Questions

If left alone, will the angioma continue to enlarge?

What is the method of removal?

After removal, will there be a scar?

Can cherry angiomas be prevented?

If the cherry angiomas are injured, how do you stop the bleeding?

Are they hereditary?

Does exposure to the sun intensify the color or size?