Cherry angiomas are made up of clusters of capillaries at the surface of the skin, forming a small round dome (“papule”), which may be flat topped. They range in colour from bright red to purple. When they first develop, they may be only a tenth of a millimeter in diameter and almost flat, appearing as small red dots. However, they then usually grow to about one or two millimeters across, and sometimes to a centimeter or more in diameter. As they grow larger, cherry angiomas tend to expand in thickness, and may take on the raised and rounded shape of a dome. Multiple adjoining angiomas are said to form apolypoid angioma. Because the blood vessels comprising an angioma are so close to the skin’s surface, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if they are injured.
Cherry angiomas are fairly common skin growths that vary in size. They can occur almost anywhere on the body, but usually develop on the trunk.
They are most common after age 30. The cause is unknown, but they tend to be inherited (genetic).
A cherry angioma is:
- Bright cherry-red
- Small — pinhead size to about one quarter inch in diameter
- Smooth, or can stick out from the skin