Campbell de Morgan, red moles, or cherry angioma is a type of angioma or non-cancerous skin growth that usually affects people over 30 years old. Medical studies have recorded very few cases of cherry angioma in people under 30. Your chances of getting cherry angioma increase with age, but what exactly are these red moles?


Red dots on skin


What is Cherry Angioma?

As the name suggests, cherry angiomas are cherry-red mostly benign skin growths that manifest themselves on the trunk or torso. That said, cherry angiomas can develop virtually anywhere on the skin even on the face and hands. A cherry angioma is composed of tiny blood capillaries of vessels.

A cherry angioma may appear flat on the skin, or it may form a bump. Whether flat or bumped, angiomas come in all sizes. It can also take colors like blue, black, or even purple. An angioma can also be very small almost unnoticeable. Note that cherry angiomas should not be confused with red freckles.


What Causes Cherry Angioma?

As with most other skin tumors, the exact causes of cherry angiomas is not yet established. However, dermatologists have found that a genetic factor may be in play. This explains why some people have higher chances of developing cherry angiomas than others.

Apart from a genetic factor, the development of cherry angiomas on the skin has been associated with prolonged, continued exposure to various chemicals. Some climatic conditions have also been thought to aid the development of angioma.

For women, pregnancy has also been pointed out as one of the factors that contribute to the development of cherry angioma on their skin.

Age and cherry angioma also have an un-coincidental relationship. Medical studies have shown that more than 75% of people aged seventy-five years and above have developed cherry angioma. Most of these angiomas will be raised from the skin and easier to see.


Types of Angiomas and Hemangiomas

Before discussing the types, let’s first look at the difference between angiomas and hemangiomas.

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Types of angiomas include hemangioma, lymphangioma, spider angioma/ spider nevus, and cherry angioma. Spider angiomas are characterized by protrusions extending from the boundaries around the base of the skin growth, and they should not be confused with spider veins.

Hemangiomas also have subtypes which include: capillary hemangiomas which are commonly found on the surface of internal organs like the kidney; Cavernous Hemangiomas which are characterized by their penetration into deep layers of the skin; Juvenile Hemangiomas are sometimes referred to as strawberry tumors.

Hemangiomas possess the same color characteristics as cherry angiomas, but it’s important not to confuse the two as some hemangiomas penetrate deep into the muscles, causing pain and swelling on the adjacent skin surface.



Hemangioma in a newborn baby girl on a leg ∼


Cherry Angioma Treatment and Removal

In most cases, a cherry angioma possesses no threat to one’s general health, but due to cosmetic reasons, cherry angioma removal may be necessary. Elevated angiomas may burst after excessive scratching, causing a wound that may need medical attention.

Treating a cherry angioma is a delicate affair that needs to be supervised by qualified medical personnel. Treatment of cherry angiomas should be sought if the spots change in appearance as this may be a sign of other skin conditions like skin cancer.

When removing a cherry angioma, doctors may choose to use electro-cauterization which involves burning the cherry angioma with a special tool, laser surgery, freezing using liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery), or perform a shave excision.

Some studies record a correlation between liver dysfunction and cherry angiomas, so maintaining a healthy liver can be one way of keeping angiomas in control. Helping the body detoxify is one way of helping to maintain good liver health.  Detoxification can be achieved by using natural products like face and body creams and avoiding smoking.

When seeking home-made remedies for treating angiomas, apple cider vinegar which has toning, cleansing, and acne prevention benefits, can be applied to the angioma especially cherry angioma to minimize its appearance.

Essential oils like tea tree oil have also been used through generations to contain inflation, rashes, and irritation among other skin conditions.

Other ways of preventing the development of angioma include avoiding soft drinks stored in plastic or aluminum bottles, avoiding industrial chemicals like the chlorine used in cleaning products, and staying away from grain products which have unhealthy ingredients and have been extensively processed.


Angioma Tests

Although an angioma can be identified from its appearance, the doctor may need to carry out tests to ascertain that it does not pose any other threat to the skin or the entire body.

These tests can employ the power of CT scans and X-rays. These methods are effective with hemangiomas and show the presence of phleboliths. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans can also be used since they produce precise images of soft tissues, unlike X-rays which are best for hard tissues like bones.

Another method medical practitioners use to test angiomas is the biopsy. This method involves removing a section of a skin growth presumed to be an angioma and observing it under a microscope for any abnormities. A blood test can also be used to establish if a tumor is benign or cancerous.


Check Yourself

You can use pictures to check if your skin condition is similar in appearance to different types of angiomas.

If your picture looks like an angioma, book an appointment with your doctor to your skin examined.


Angiomas come in different types with each type being attributed to certain factors which include age, exposure to chemicals, liver dysfunction, and more. As a general rule, angioma treatment can only be effective if, and only if, one maintains a healthy body which comes from eating a healthy diet and keeping away from substances that are capable of accelerating the of development of angioma.


As we have discussed above, cherry angiomas, hemangiomas, or any other type of angioma should be monitored closely for any unusual growth or change in appearance as this can be a sign of a bigger skin condition or a life-threatening condition like skin cancer. Therefore, a qualified doctor or dermatologist should be consulted before attempting home-made remedies for treating or removing an angioma.


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