What are cherry angiomas?
In your 30s, you might start noticing little red circular bumps popping up on your body. They look like bright red moles, but they’re actually growths of blood vessels called cherry angiomas. No one is sure what causes them, but it seems to be genetic. So if your mum and dad had them, there’s a good chance you’ll get some, too.
Could it be something more concerning?
Cherry angiomas aren’t dangerous, so there’s no medical reason to remove them. Still, you should schedule a visit with your dermatologist when you notice one, says Dr Anthony Rossi. What you think is a harmless growth could actually be more sinister. “Usually we think of melanoma as being a dark, black mole, but there are other types of skin cancer like melanoma or Merkel cell carcinoma that can present as little red papules,” he says.
Whether you want to take the cherry angioma off or not, your dermatologist can check it – and the rest of your body – for signs of cancer.
Can I remove them myself?
Once you know your spot is a harmless cherry angioma, you might be tempted to snip it off at home. Bad idea.
A DIY method could leave a scar, and because cherry angiomas are made of blood vessels, a basic Band-Aid might not stop the bleeding. “They could go to urgent care to stop the bleeding,” says dermatologist, Dr Ivy Lee. “That’s much more expensive than ever getting it treated.”