Angiomas are non-cancerous tumors made up of blood vessels or lymph vessels. Cherry angiomas, also called senile angiomas and Campbell de Morgan spots, are bright red in color and quite common. The growths are typically small, ranging in size from that of a pencil tip up to one-fourth of an inch. Most are round or oval shaped and may be level with the skin’s surface or slightly raised.
The cause of cherry angiomas is not known, but the number of growths tends to increase with age. Cherry angiomas can develop anywhere on the body, and although they are not harmful, they do present a cosmetic concern for some. They also have a tendency to bleed when scraped or scratched.
Cherry angiomas do not require medical treatment, but if they bleed frequently or present a nuisance, your dermatologist can remove them. Removal is typically done through cauterization (burning), freezing, laser therapy or shave excision.
Spider angiomas are another common type of angioma. They are formed when groups of small blood vessels cluster near the surface of the skin. The narrow vessels radiate out from a red dot in the center, creating a web or spider-like appearance.
Spider angiomas tend to appear most often on the face and neck. They frequently develop during pregnancy and in people with liver disease. When spider angiomas develop in children, they often later disappear. In adults, they are usually permanent.
Although spider angiomas themselves are harmless, they may indicate a liver condition. For that reason, your dermatologist may recommend a blood test.