Cherry Angioma

A cherry angioma is growth that can emerge on any skin area of the body. It is a common type of growth of a benign nature, which is not caused by cancer or related to it. Other names of this skin growth are a senile angioma or a Campbell de Morgan spot. It's a condition very common above the age of 30.

The distinctive red look of the cherry angiomas is because they appear due to small blood vessels growing out of control or bursting at skin level. Normally, they are harmful and can be ignored, unless their shape, color or size changes or they start bleeding. In such a case, you should ask for medical advice, since blood or changes in appearance could be signs of cancer.

Cherry angiomas are normally bright red in color, with a round or ovoid shape. They are small, with a diameter between a pinpoint to about a quarter of an inch. They can develop at skin level, or somewhat raised. A cherry angioma can be located anywhere on the skin but the usual areas are the torso, shoulders and arms. Disturbing a cherry angioma by scratching or piercing it leads to bleeding.

A cherry angioma's appearance is variable. Some are flat, at the same level as the rest of the skin, while others are raised. No area of the body is immune, they can also appear of the neck, face or even on the scalp, under hair.

Since cherry angiomas consist of small blood vessels very close to the skin surface, any damage to them can result in strong bleeding. This typically happens if they are pinched, scratched or cut open. If you want to eliminate one from your skin, you should ask a doctor to remove it and not try to do it yourself.

What causes cherry angioma?

Cherry angiomas can appear at any age but usually affect people older than 30. Since they are benign growths that don't evolve into cancer, angiomas haven't been properly researched and their exact cause remains unknown. However, the results of a new study have found a flaw in the RNA that appears to make small blood vessels and capillaries expand out of control. The study has established that people who have cherry angiomas also show low levels of microRNA 424. This gene expands the skin capillaries by a higher protein expression and a mechanism known as endothelial proliferation.

Several other factors that increase the risk of cherry angiomas have been identified but their exact influence is unknown. The genetic flaw can be inherited. Contact with chemicals such as bromide, cyclosporins, butoxyethanol and mustard gas increases the risk of growths. Any kind of stress, of a physical, emotional or psychological nature, causes aging and also makes the formation of cherry angiomas more likely, since they usually appear with age. Otherwise, people of any sex or race can have cherry angiomas.

Since they usually appear after the age of 30, aging is clearly one of the main risk factors. The growths tend to expand in time and increase in number, as people age. Elders over the age of 70 have a chance of over 70% to have multiple growths. There are a number of other factors that can increase the risk. Harsh climates, especially those that cause dry skin, are linked to a higher occurrence of cherry angiomas.

Treatment options

Most people with cherry angiomas do not treat them, since there is no health danger. However, some patients decide to remove them for aesthetic purposes and multiple options are available. Some raised cherry angiomas are located in sensitive areas where they can be cut with ease and it's better to eliminate them to prevent constant bleeding.

There are four main procedures that can be used to eliminate cherry angiomas. One of the most effective is to burn the growth using a small probe to subject it to a strong electric current, a technique named electrocauterization. A more conservative procedure is the shave excision, which simply means the surgical removal of the growth and the skin surrounding it. The wound is then stitched or sutured to prevent a possible infection.

Several modern procedures are available as well. One of them is cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the area. It is a very quick and effective way to remove the cherry angioma with minimal risk of infection. Finally, a laser (powerful focused beam of light) can eliminate the cherry angioma, another fast procedure that doesn't require admission to a hospital.

Some studies seem to prove a connection between dry skin and a higher risk of cherry angiomas. As a result, keeping the skin hydrated by simple home and natural remedies might prevent the appearance and development of growths. Such remedies have a slow action and must be continued for long periods of time but provide several other health benefits as well.

A great advice is to use natural products to clean your skin, instead of chemical agents that dehydrate it. Skin pores clogged with oil from the sebaceous glands can easily be cleansed with a mixture of sandalwood and raw leaves of basil. Of course, the easiest way to remain hydrated is to drink large amounts of water.

Vitamin supplements can maintain the skin in shape by supplying it with the needed nutrients. These include pantothenic acid and vitamins A and E. Iodine supplements might also be helpful, since a lack of iodine is suspected to be one of the main causes of the condition. At the same time, bromine seems to have an adverse effect, so you should limit the amount ingested.

A proper diet is recommended in any type of condition. Try to eat healthy foods that provide all the needed vitamins and minerals, while avoiding junk food.