Cherry Angioma | What It Means, Causes & When to Worry | Buoy (2024)

A cherry angioma is a smooth, cherry-red, harmless bump on the skin. They can occur nearly anywhere on the body, and most commonly start appearing around age 40.

What is cherry angioma?

Cherry angiomas are small, red, harmless skin findings that occur commonly in older adults. They are clumps of overgrown cells derived from the inside of blood vessels, or vascular endothelium. Cherry angiomas most commonly start appearing around age 40 and some estimates suggest that the majority of adults will have at least one by age 70.

Symptoms are limited to the presence and appearance of cherry angiomas. They are commonly found on the chest, back, or shoulder, and appear as small, red, purple, blue or black skin bumps.

Though treatment is not necessary, some individuals may wish to remove cherry angiomas for cosmetic reasons, and a number of procedures are available to accomplish this.

You do not need to see a doctor for a cherry angioma. If you want to get rid of the spot, a doctor can prescribe propranolol, topical beta-blockers, and systemic corticosteroids on a case-by-case basis.

Cherry angioma symptoms

Because cherry angiomas represent a group of overgrown cells, cherry angiomas are "technically" tumors but they are entirely benign. Cherry angiomas can be diagnosed by examination. Biopsies to confirm are usually not required.

Main symptoms

Cherry angiomas can be defined by the following details.

  • Appearance: Cherry angiomas classically appear as small, "cherry-red" skin bumps. They can also look purple, blue, or even black if there is not much blood flowing through them.
  • Location: They are most often found as multiple lesions starting on the chest, back or shoulders of older adults.
  • Size and shape: Most cherry angiomas are less than a quarter inch across (or roughly 0.5 cm) and can look more like a red dot than an obvious bump. They are often raised and rubbery but can be flat, particularly early on.
  • Bleeding or irritation: This can be seen, but is usually as a result of minor trauma such as scratching or shaving.

Causes of cherry angioma

The specific cause of cherry angiomas remains unknown, but the most likely explanation is random variation in aging cells.

About blood vessel growth

Blood vessels are supposed to grow after an injury to help heal the wound. Vessel growth is part of normal tissue maintenance and repair, controlled by a balance of signals known as cytokines, hormones, and intracellular messengers.

Cell aging

As we age, older cells become more prone to signaling mistakes and sometimes overgrow. Very rarely this can take the form of cancer known as angiosarcoma, but far more often the result is simply a harmless bundle we call an angioma. In many ways, they are similar to the harmless "strawberry hemangiomas" often seen on newborns.

Risk factors

Known risk factors for cherry angioma include a family history of angiomas and hormone changes, which can be seen in pregnancy or liver failure.

Treatment options and prevention for cherry angioma

Cherry angiomas are harmless and do not require any treatment. In some cases, your physician may wish to biopsy an angioma to confirm the diagnosis.

Here are some otc treatments that might help:

  • Skin Care Products: For maintaining healthy skin and possibly reducing the visibility of cherry angiomas, consider using skin care products rich in Vitamin C or retinol, which promote skin health and can aid in the appearance of the skin.
  • Sunscreen: Protecting your skin from further damage can be beneficial. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to guard against UV rays which can exacerbate skin issues:


While treatment is not necessary, some people choose to remove angiomas for cosmetic reasons. This can be done safely using a few different methods, and you and your physician can decide which one is best for you. These procedures are commonly performed in your physician's office, and it is likely you will receive a local anesthetic for mild discomfort.

  • Laser treatments: A pulsed dye laser (PDL) or another medical laser can be focused on the angioma and destroy it using heat. Bruising may occur, but some studies found this to be the most effective, comfortable option overall. Multiple rounds may be needed, but scarring is usually very minimal.
  • Electrocautery: A special tool is used to cauterize, or burn off, the cherry angioma using heat. You may experience some slight discomfort and scarring as the area heals.
  • Shave excision: Excision involves shaving or cutting off the angioma. Some discomfort and scarring may occur afterward.
  • Cryotherapy: A very cold substance, commonly liquid nitrogen, is used to target the angioma effectively destroying it. Similar treatment is used for other skin issues, such as warts and actinic keratosis. Some scarring may occur.


Additional angiomas will often appear regardless of management. There is no known treatment to prevent their appearance.

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When to seek further consultation for cherry angioma

In general, if you are concerned about new skin lesions, you should see your physician. While cherry angiomas are themselves harmless, they can sometimes look similar to more dangerous lesions. Either a primary care physician or a dermatologist can usually identify a cherry angioma by appearance alone and without any further testing.

If you have to receive a skin biopsy

If there is uncertainty regarding the appearance, a skin biopsy can verify the diagnosis. Once cherry angiomas are diagnosed, they may change in size or brightness but shouldn't change dramatically in shape or color.

If you notice changes in previously stable skin lesions

You should consult your physician just to be safe. It is also always a good idea to take pictures of skin lesions, ideally next to a size reference (such as a coin) which will help trend any changes over time.

Cherry Angioma | What It Means, Causes & When to Worry | Buoy (2024)


Cherry Angioma | What It Means, Causes & When to Worry | Buoy? ›

Cherry angiomas are noncancerous red bumps that form due to the clustering of blood vessels on the skin. They mostly occur in older people (older than 30 years of age). These benign tumors are associated with aging and usually increase in number as you get old.

When should I be concerned about cherry angiomas? ›

They're typically noncancerous (benign) and not a cause for concern unless they bleed or change appearance, which may be an early indicator of skin cancer. Cherry angiomas are made of small blood vessels, which gives them a reddish or purplish appearance.

What deficiency causes cherry angiomas? ›

While we don't know for sure what causes this skin growths, they have been associated with excess estrogen and copper, bromide toxicity, and a vitamin C deficiency leading to weakened blood vessel walls. They have been observed in pregnancy and with immune system suppression including chemotherapy.

How to stop cherry angiomas? ›

Cherry angiomas are common, harmless spots on the skin. It is not necessary to remove them. However, it is possible to remove them if a person wishes, by using cauterization or cryosurgery.

What can be mistaken for cherry angioma? ›

Cherry angioma is usually easy to diagnose, but occasionally it may be confused with:
  • Angiokeratoma.
  • Spider telangiectasis.
  • Pyogenic granuloma.
  • Nodular basal cell carcinoma.
  • Amelanotic melanoma.

What systemic disease causes cherry angiomas? ›

Therefore, it is suggested that if the patient presents with sudden multiple cherry angiomas along with systemic symptoms and lymphadenopathy, the patient should be evaluated for multicentric Castleman disease (MCD) and other lymphoproliferative disorders.

What cancers are associated with cherry angiomas? ›

Borghi et al. 26 found that advanced age, immunosuppressive therapy, skin cancers (melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer), and extracutaneous cancers were factors significantly associated with the presence of multiple cherry angiomas (>30) in a cross-sectional study of 1302 patients.

Can stress cause cherry angiomas? ›

Stress, Aging, Genetics, Chemical Exposure & Sun, may be some of the causes, however, the exact cause and reason for the development of Cherry Angiomas is not fully known yet.

Do cherry angiomas mean liver disease? ›

Do cherry angiomas mean liver disease? No, the appearance of cherry angiomas does not mean a person has liver disease. However, they are often associated with liver transplants.

What chemicals cause cherry angiomas? ›

Cherry angiomas have been associated with chemical exposures, such as sulfur mustard gas1, 2 and 2-butoxyethanol, a glycol ether solvent. To our knowledge, cyclosporine4 and topical nitrogen mustard5 are the only medications reported to induce angiomas.

Why do I suddenly get multiple cherry angiomas? ›

If the lesions are numerous and present as small macules, consider a bleeding disorder such as thrombocytopenia. Dermatologist consultation may be indicated. For multiple cherry hemangiomas that have appeared over a short period, refer the patient for evaluation to exclude an internal malignancy.

Is there a cream to get rid of cherry angiomas? ›

While there is no medical necessity to have a cherry angioma treated, there are some natural remedies used traditionally for treating them for cosmetic reasons. Iodine and tea tree oil have both been common ointments used for shrinking the size of cherry angiomas.

What is inside a cherry angioma? ›

A cherry angioma is a noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels. The skin is the largest organ of the body.

What are the complications of cherry angiomas? ›

Possible Complications

Bleeding if it is injured. Changes in appearance. Emotional distress.

Are cherry angiomas related to diabetes? ›

Cherry angiomas have also been associated with pregnancy,16 diabetes mellitus,5 and lipid profile disorders. In a case–control study, patients with diabetes had a greater number of cherry angiomas than those without diabetes.


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