Are You Seeing Red (Spots)?

“What are these red things?” This is a common refrain in my office. Cherry angiomas are small red flat or dome-shaped growths and occur almost anywhere on the skin. It’s harder to find a person (over the age of 30) without a few of these spots; they are that common. They tend to like the trunk the best, but arms, scalp, legs area all typical areas too. They vary from bright red to purple and can be a tiny dot up to the diameter of a pencil eraser or a little larger.

They appear in our 30’s and 40’s and the exact cause of their debut is up for debate. They to tend to be inherited and often seem to multiply with hormonal changes in women. The bad news is that we don’t have a way to prevent them from appearing. On the good news side, they are not dangerous and can be removed if they present a cosmetic issue for you. The options for removal are laser treatments, a freezing procedure or ablation with electrocautery. I like the the laser and electrocautery options the best, depending on the size and location. These treatments usually can remove the angioma without leaving a scar. They will not, however, prevent you from getting more. Yet another great reason to befriend a good dermatologist….

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