Cherry Angiomas 101

During a current pores and skin verify—I get them twice a yr as a result of I’m so fair-skinned and hyper conscious of skin cancer after writing about it for thus a few years—I requested my dermatologist why I out of the blue had extra cherry angiomas (little purple, raised moles on the pores and skin) on my abdomen. As it seems, they’ll pop up extra throughout and after being pregnant, which I hadn’t realized after I had my child. Though most cherry angiomas are largely benign and simple to identify—with a skilled eye—right here’s what you need to find out about them.

What They Are

“Cherry angiomas, or cherries as they are commonly called, are benign—not cancerous or harmful—growths made up of very tiny blood vessels called capillaries,” says Davie, FL dermatologist Lesley Clark-Loeser, MD. “They are extremely common and occur equally in men and women. We inherit our propensity to develop them during our lifetime. Typically, individuals will notice an increase in number of their cherry angiomas in their 40s, but they can begin to appear in adolescence.”

According to the Andrews’ Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology textbook, they’re described as being discovered totally on the trunk (chest, stomach, pelvis and again) and so they’re not often seen on the palms, ft or face. “Cherry angiomas are the most common vascular anomalies, and it is rare for a 30-year-old to not have a few.”

Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD says the scale of cherry angiomas may be wherever from an eighth of an inch to 1 / 4 of an inch in diameter. “They can grow with time, but usually don’t grow to more than the size of a pencil eraser. If they do become much larger than that, they can become irritated or bleed.” Dr. Loeser provides that though they’re sometimes cherry-red, therefore their title, they’ll additionally vary in coloration from vibrant pink to a deep purple and virtually black. “Any black-colored bump benefits from an evaluation by a dermatologist using a dermatoscope to establish the correct diagnosis of cherry angioma and rule out a melanoma.”

Some well being situations, corresponding to being pregnant, can result in a rise in cherry angiomas on the physique, and there’s an opportunity that some persons are extra vulnerable to them primarily based on genetics. “It is something that a dermatologist or a geneticist can determine,” Dr. Schlessinger says.

Are They Dangerous?

“The lyrics ‘Life is just a bowl of cherries. Don’t take it serious; it’s too mysterious,’ could easily be applied to cherry angiomas,” says Camden, NJ dermatologist Warren R. Heymann, MD. “Clinically, they are not serious, but understanding their pathophysiology remains a mystery. As we learn more about the genetics and molecular pathway(s) to their appearance, novel topical therapies could be in the offing.” Dr. Loeser provides that, though cherry angiomas may be quite a few, they’re asymptomatic. “They do not cause any pain, itching or other sensations.”

How to Treat Them

Though I don’t personally like the way in which mine look—they aren’t aesthetically pleasing, and plenty of of you in all probability really feel the identical—they don’t have to be handled or eliminated, so I wouldn’t threat the possibility of scarring to do away with them. “If someone does want to treat them, a variety of options exist,” says Dr. Loeser. “Most commonly we treat cherries with either electrocautery [essentially burning them off] or pulsed-dye and vascular lasers like Nd:YAG. These treatments are very safe and effective; however, they do not prevent new cherries from forming.” Cryosurgery—freezing the spots off with liquid nitrogen—and shave excision (reducing or “shaving” off the cherry angioma and stitching up the spot) can be used if essential.

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