Cherry angiomas, as they are most commonly known, are little clusters of broken blood vessels on the skin. They usually look like domes ranging in colour from bright red to purple, however they can also appear flat. They usually start out very small, the size of a pinprick, and grow larger over time. Cherry angiomas are harmless, however some people go on to have them removed due to cosmetic reasons.
Research has yet to find a concrete cause of cherry angiomas. However, it has been linked to pregnancy, climate, toxins and ageing. Some people are also thought to have a genetic predisposition for developing these type of lesions.
There are three common methods of removing cherry angiomas.
The cherry angioma is frozen by spraying or applying a cold substance such as liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide to the growth. The cells of the broken blood vessels are destroyed by the extreme cold. The cherry angioma will turn dark and fall off over the following two weeks. Cryotherapy is safe and effective in treating this type of lesion, with only one treatment ususally needed.
An electrical current is passed through the cherry angioma, drying up the blood vessels whereby the body reabsorbs the remaining blood. The treatment can only be carried out by advanced electrolysis practitioners, but is very effective and usually only one treatment is needed.
By using a laser to prenetrate the surface of the skin, the broken blood vessels in the cherry angioma absorbs the light and are detroyed. The growth will turn darker and then fade over 2-4 weeks. In general two treatments are needed to completely remove the cherry angioma.