This patient information and photograph of cherry angiomas is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Cherry Angiomas are one of the most common growths that occur on the
skin. These are harmless, smooth surfaced, growths that have a cherry red color to them. In general terms these are often referred to as red moles. They can grow anywhere but they are most common on the torso. Most cherry angiomas develop after the age of 40.
What causes it? Genetics play a role in the formation of Cherry angiomas. Some families have a tendency to develop more angiomas than others.
Is it dangerous? Cherry angiomas are harmless, but sometimes they can be difficult to tell from skin cancer by lay persons. If cherry angiomas are cut or injured they can bleed profusely. Any growth that suddenly changes in size, color, shape, bleeds, itches on a regular basis or becomes inflamed or irritated needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist. Although I remove many of them for cosmetic reasons, removal is not necessary unless they are irritated, inflamed or suspicious.
Can it be cured? Cherry angiomas are easily removed, but insurance considers this cosmetic unless they are inflamed, irritated or clinically suspicious. Some Cherry angiomas may re-grow after removal, but most do not. I have several techniques that I use to remove these growths. I try to choose a technique that gives the best cosmetic result for each growth depending on its size and location.
Will it spread? New ones usually continue to appear as you get older.
Is it contagious? Cherry angiomas are not contagious and you can not "catch" them from anyone.