Seeing any unusual mark on the skin, it is only natural to wonder what it is and what it could indicate. Really, it’s the dreaded C word that people fear the most. The thing about moles and marks on the skin is that they are often a very natural part of being human. Red moles, better known as angiomas, are usually nothing to worry about. However, because they can be cosmetically frustrating, it doesn’t hurt to see your dermatologist about removing the growth.
Cherry angiomas are the most common form of angioma. They are easy to spot because they are red, as the name suggests. A cherry angioma may develop during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Women often start to see angiomas on the skin as they enter perimenopause. It is believed that estrogen levels may correlate with the development of these small, oval or round, raised growths. Cherry angiomas get their color from the tiny blood vessels from which they originate. Because blood vessels are involved, cherry angiomas are known to become irritated if they rub up against clothing or jewelry, and to bleed easily if scratched.
Treatment for Cherry Angiomas
Due to their benign nature, it is not usually necessary to have an angioma removed. They should, however, be checked out by a dermatologist. Depending on where an angioma develops on the body, some people wish to have the growth removed. There are a few ways to do this. A dermatologist has the necessary instruments and techniques to quickly remove an angioma. Treatment options include:
- Excision, in which a scalpel is used to remove the growth. Local anesthetic is applied to make the process comfortable.
- Laser treatment, in which wavelengths of light break up the blood vessel formation.
- Electrocauterization, which utilizes a quick burst of electrical energy to destroy the tissue.
- Cryosurgery, or freezing, can be performed to destroy the growth.
When to see a Dermatologist
Most cherry angiomas are medically harmless. If the growth changes color or shape or it bleeds periodically, a dermatologic exam can be scheduled. A dermatologist can examine the growth to ensure there is not an underlying problem that requires treatment.
In our Lake Charles dermatology office, patients receive professional care in a warm and friendly environment. Dr. Smith has a rich educational background and years of clinical experience diagnosing and treating skin conditions like angiomas, including cherry angiomas. If you would like to know more about your dermatologic health, contact us today to schedule a visit.