Cherry Angiomas

As specialized skin therapists, we know our clients are increasingly seeking our advice for optimal treatment options in their pursuit of flawless skin. Social pressures and the need to appear “perfect” in social media images and, now, even online video meetings during our social distanced times, have only heightened many people’s awareness of their skin and perceived flaws.

Appearing as bright red or purple spots on the skin’s surface, cherry angiomas are one such noticeable minor skin flaw, falling under the vascular category of minor skin irregularities (MSI). So even though cherry angiomas are a common superficial skin disorder and are not of concern medically, they can still be a cause of discomfort to many of your current and potential clients. In these instances, it is important that you are able to educate your clients about cherry angiomas and recommend an optimal treatment method to meet their needs.

What are cherry angiomas?

Cherry angiomas, also known as senile angiomas or Campbell De Morgan spots, are common skin growths that are made up of a proliferation of endothelial cells, the cells that line the blood vessels. They are the result of noncancerous (benign) superficial capillary overgrowth or dilation. They appear as bright red dots (flat or raised) on the surface of the skin, hence the origin of their name “cherry.”

Cherry angiomas are part of the angioma family, which includes another common type of angiomas: spider angiomas. Spider angiomas are distinct from cherry angiomas by their characteristic appearance of thin blood vessels radiating from a central red dot leading to their name “spider.”  Both types of angiomas are common MSI you will regularly encounter on your clients.

Cherry angiomas medically concerning for your clients, as they are rarely harmful or cause harm or discomfort. If they are accidentally cut or punctured, however, some bleeding from them may occur.

In certain rare instances, it is advisable for individuals to seek medical consultation for cherry angiomas, as they may be a symptom of an underlying disease. These circumstances include if a light red or purple circle or “halo” surround the cherry angiomas, if there is a distinct change in their appearance (size, shape, or color), or if there is a rapid multiplication of them within a short period of time.

Where do cherry angiomas appear?

Cherry angiomas tend to be located mainly on the torso or upper and lower extremities, appearing as dome shaped, bright red, or sometimes purple or bluish papules. They can also be found on the face, decolletage, and chest.

Cherry angiomas may vary in size, often ranging 0.1–1cm in diameter. They can range in shape from being circular to oval and may be flat or dome shaped.  Multiple angiomas often appear in groups in one area, rather than on varying parts of the body.

For the rest of this “Cherry Angiomas – An Esthetician’s Guide” blog, including contributing causes and best practices, please click here!

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