Cherry Angioma: What It Looks Like, Causes & Treatment

A cherry angioma is a red spot that appears on the skin in adulthood. It can increase in size and quantity with aging. It is quite common and does not pose any health risks, however, suspected cherry angiomas that bleed should be assessed by a dermatologist to confirm a diagnosis. 

Cherry angiomas typically appear in places that are rarely visible, such as the scalp or on the back. They can also appear on the trunk and face, although this is less frequently seen. They are often seen in older adults and generally do not present with symptoms.

They are often only treated for cosmetic purposes, and can be removed with laser therapy or cryotherapy. The best way to prevent a cherry angioma is to use sunscreen and avoid prolonged sun exposure, as these factors are related to premature skin aging which is related to cherry angiomas. 

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What do they look like?

Cherry angiomas initially appear as small, flat, red spots, but with aging, they can increase in size very slowly, reaching 5 mm. They have a characteristic bright red color. These spots do not regress and can only be removed with some type of treatment.

Normally they do not cause any symptoms, however they may bleed in with direct trauma to the area. You are advised to see a dermatologist if you notice any new red spots on the skin

Common causes

The cause of cherry angiomas is not fully known, but factors that may be related to its occurrence include skin aging, prolonged sun exposure, chemicals, and stress. Furthermore, people who have diabetes have a greater chance of having several cherry angiomas throughout the body.

Treatment options

Treatment for cherry angiomas is normally done for cosmetic purposes only. Your dermatologist may recommend:

  • Laser therapy, which promotes a reduction in blood flow in surrounding vessels, eliminating the cherry angioma
  • Cryotherapy, in which a liquid nitrogen spray that placed directly on the red spot
  • Electrocoagulation, an electric current that is applied directly to the ruby nevus
  • Sclerotherapy, which is a technique in which a substance is injected into the surrounding blood vessels to help eliminate it

The type of treatment may vary depending on the location of the cherry angioma and how many are being treated.

Home remedies

Home remedies for cherry angiomas can be done with castor oil or green apple juice. Castor oil is used to moisturize the skin and should be applied to the red spot once a day for 7 days. Green apples have antioxidant properties, and can delay skin aging and therefore the progression of cherry angiomas. Green apple juice can be applied to the area at least 3 times a day for 3 weeks.

To prevent other red spots from appearing on the skin, it is important to use sunscreen, avoid spending too much time in the sun, maintain a healthy diet and take cold showers to improve circulation.