Causes of Cherry Angiomas and How They Are Treated

These skin growths are most common in adults over the age of 30

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Cherry angiomas are non-cancerous skin growths that are made up of blood vessels that have clumped together. They can be red or purple, round- or oval-shaped, and may be smooth and flat or raised. While cherry angiomas are often pinhead-size, they can grow to be several millimeters in diameter.

Cherry angiomas

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Cherry angiomas are extremely common in adults over 30. They are usually found on the torso, though they can appear anywhere, including the arms, legs, chest, and even the scalp.

A cherry angioma can be easily removed by a healthcare provider if you desire, but it's not medically necessary. You should never try to remove a cherry angioma yourself.

Also Known As

  • Cherry hemangiomas
  • Campbell de Morgan spots
  • Senile angioma

How to Treat a Cherry Angioma

Cherry angiomas don’t typically need to be treated. If they bother you, however, you can have them removed by a healthcare provider.

Unfortunately, there's no evidence that you can successfully treat cherry angiomas naturally with home remedies like apple cider vinegar. Attempting to pop a cherry angioma or cut it off yourself could cause pain, excessive bleeding, scarring, or infection.

A healthcare provider can treat your cherry angioma with non-invasive techniques that cause minimal to no scarring. These treatments are also relatively painless.

how to treat cherry angiomas

Verywell / Laura Porter

Common removal methods include:

  • Electrodesiccation: The spot is touched with an electric needle that destroys the blood vessels.
  • Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy: Using a probe, cold gas is sprayed on the angioma, causing it to fall off in a few hours.
  • Laser: A concentrated laser beam targets the angioma and shrinks it, eventually causing it to disappear.
  • Excision: Large cherry angiomas may be removed with a sharp razor in a procedure that takes less than 10 minutes and involves local anesthesia.

With any treatment procedure, it’s possible that a cherry angioma will grow back over time. If so, you can get it removed again.

What Causes Cherry Angiomas?

Cherry angiomas get their bright, cherry-red or purple color from the dilated capillaries they're made up of. Cherry angiomas are one of the more common skin growths and, while it’s possible for children to have them, they're most common in adults over the age of 30.

Genetics play a role in how likely you are to have cherry angiomas. If your parents and grandparents have them, there’s a good chance you will, too. Exposure to certain chemicals and gases in the environment can also cause cherry angiomas to appear in clusters. They're also more common in certain climates.

It’s also possible that hormones play a role in the appearance of cherry angiomas, as they're often discovered after childbirth. This is believed to be linked to the increase of prolactin, which is the hormone that stimulates breastmilk production.

Older research published in the International Journal of Dermatology found more than 50% of adults have cherry angiomas on their skin. It's normal to get more of them as you get older.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Cherry angiomas are not dangerous, but they can look similar to some types of skin cancer. You should see a healthcare provider if you have a lesion that bleeds excessively or changes shape, size, or color.

Healthcare providers often diagnose a cherry angioma just by looking at it. They may request a biopsy if they suspect it's a potentially harmful skin growth instead.

Your healthcare provider may also want to check for a different type of skin growth called spider angiomas. These are closely similar to cherry angiomas, appearing as small red dots surrounded by thin capillaries (giving them a spider-like appearance).

Most common during pregnancy and in children, spider angiomas that appear suddenly and in groups may be a warning sign for liver damage. If your healthcare provider isn't sure which type of angioma you have, they may run blood or imaging tests to check your liver health.

A Word From Verywell

Depending on where they are on your body and how many of them you have, you may feel self-conscious about cherry angiomas. But almost everyone has one or more of them by age 70, making these skin growths a frequent issue many people deal with.

If you think you have a cherry angioma, and especially if you have a spot that's grown and changed over time, mention it to your healthcare provider so they can confirm whether it's a cherry angioma or something more serious.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does cherry angioma removal work?

    Cherry angioma removal is done by a healthcare professional. It may involve using an electric needle to close off the affected blood vessels, cold gas to freeze the spot and make it fall off, or a laser to shrink the growth. Larger angiomas may be removed with a razor.

  • Is it normal for a cherry angioma to bleed?

    Occasional, minor bleeding of cherry angioma is normal. It may be caused by minor irritations, such as from clothing. Excessive bleeding should be evaluated by a healthcare practitioner.

  • Do cherry angiomas change over time?

    They can. A cherry angioma can start out small and flat and grow into a larger bump. It's worth having one evaluated if you notice any changes.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Darjani A, Rafiei R, Shafaei S, et al. Evaluation of lipid profile in patients with cherry angioma: A case-control study in Guilan, Iran. Dermatol Res Pract. 2018;2018:4639248. doi:10.1155/2018/4639248

  2. MedlinePlus. Cherry angioma.

  3. Askari N, Vaez-Mahdavi MR, Moaiedmohseni S, et al. Association of chemokines and prolactin with cherry angioma in a sulfur mustard exposed population--Sardasht-Iran cohort study. Int Immunopharmacol. 2013;17(3):991-5. doi:10.1016/j.intimp.2012.12.016

  4. Plunkett A, Merlin K, Gill D, Zuo Y, Jolley D, Marks R. The frequency of common nonmalignant skin conditions in adults in central Victoria, Australia. Int J Dermatol. 1999;38(12):901-8. doi:10.1046/j.1365-4362.1999.00856.x

  5. American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Angiomas.

Additional Reading

By Colleen Travers
Colleen Travers writes about health, fitness, travel, parenting, and women’s lifestyle for various publications and brands.