Cherry angioma: Symptoms, causes

cherry angioma pictures

You may never hear of cherry angioma but you have seen at least one in your life. This is the most common types of angiomas or benign tumors and adults develop on their skin. There are some studies in which are said that by the time people reach 70 years old, they have a 70 – 75% chance that they will have multiple cherry angiomas [1]. It is rare for children to have cherry angioma. In studies are said that about 5% of adolescents have cherry angioma [1]. The cherry angioma is round (oval or circular) skin growths which appear bright red (this is from where they get the name cherry). They are usually small in size. Most commonly, they develop on the torso/trunk and most often they are not cancerous. There are some studies in which are said that cherry angiomas are caused from the tiny bulging blood vessels and abnormal proliferation of the skin cells and usually they do not cause any pain or long – term health problems. Cherry angiomas are also known by other names, such as simply cherry red skin papules/moles, Campbell de Morgan spots, cherry hemangioma, capillary angioma and senile angiomas [2]. In the most cases, doctors are choosing to leave the cherry angiomas alone because usually they are non – cancerous and they are not harmful. If there is a reason to be worried, then doctors will recommend you the best treatment. It is known that adults over 30 years old are having most chances of getting cherry angioma, especially if they have family members who also suffer from similar papules. It is known that cherry angiomas are affecting people differently which vary in color and size and in some cases the darkening with the age or the lightening is depending on someone’s exposure to the sun and in some people are emerging in more than one location as they are getting older [3].

cherry angioma bleeding

Symptoms of cherry angioma

Cherry angiomas have bright appearance and due to this property, your dermatologist or doctor should be able to tell you if you have cherry angioma without needing to do extra testing. In the most cases, people have cherry angioma on their abdomen and trunk and also it is possible for them to develop on their arms, neck, face, scalp, upper chest and shoulders, especially when they are getting older. Here are the most common signs and symptoms which will indicate that you have developed a cherry angioma:

  • In the most cases, the cherry angioma feels firm to the touch, especially in the center.
  • In some cases, it is possible to notice swelling, bleeding and other signs of irritation. This is mostly happening if you rub, pick or scratch the cherry angioma or if you shave over it and you break open the top layer.
  • Usually, cherry angiomas are small and in some cases they are tiny as a pinhead. There are some cases when cherry angiomas can become larger but in the most cases they are under a quarter of inch in diameter [4].
  • There are some cherry angioma which are raised while others are flat and they blend into the skin more smoothly. As we are getting older, cherry angiomas tend to become more raised.
  • The cherry angioma means that you have bright “cherry red” growth, papule or mole on your skin. There are some cases when cherry angiomas can be other colors besides bright red, including purple, blue, red or even black.
  • It is known fact that the brightness of the cherry angioma can darken and fade at times the appearance of angiomas should stay mostly consistent over time. If you have noticed changes in the texture, size or surrounding area, then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Causes of cherry angioma

The proliferating endothelial cells which are the cells in the blood vessels are the primary cause for cherry angioma [5]. These blood vessels which dilate and form cherry angioma are also known as venules. They are small in size and they can become red and swollen to the point of being very noticeable on the skin. When these blood vessels break open, then the bright red color of the cherry angiomas is the result of it. Also skin papules are made worse with age which is caused by the weakening of dermal capillary walls.


[1] Murison AR, Sutherland JW, Williamson AM. De Morgan’s spots. British Medical Journal. 1947;1(4505):634-6.

[2] Kim JH, Park H, Ahn SK. Cherry angiomas on the scalp. Case Reports in Dermatology. 2009;1(1):82-6.

[3] Darjani A, Rafiei R, Shafaeri S, et al. Evaluation of lipid profile in patients with cherry angioma: A case-control study in Guilan, Iran. Dermatology Research and Practice. 2018;12:1-5

[4] Karaman BF. Halo formation around cherry angiomas: A rare but substantial finding. Medical Science Monitor. 2018;24:5050–3.

[5] Collyer J, Boone SL, White LE, et al. Comparison of treatment of cherry angiomata with pulsed-dye laser, potassium titanyl phosphate laser, and electrodesiccation: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Dermatology. 2010;146(1):33-7.


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