What are angiomas?
Angiomas are benign, vascular lesions that consist of small blood vessels. These benign growths can be located anywhere on the body. They do not need to be treated unless they bleed, enlarge in size or number or become painful.
Where do angiomas appear on the body?
Angiomas, especially cherry and spider, can appear anywhere, but are most commonly found on the upper body, including the scalp, face, neck, torso, arms, and shoulders.
Types of Angiomas
- Cherry angiomas: often bright red, circular or oval in shape, and small. Some appear smooth while others are slightly raised.
- Spider angiomas: are caused by small arteries that travel to the surface of the skin and branch out, resembling a small, red spider with tiny legs.
- Venous lakes: are small, dark blue to purple slightly elevated papules. They are usually soft and compressible. They commonly appear on sun exposed areas such as the face, lips, ears, and neck.
Who gets angiomas?
The cause of most types of angiomas is unknown. Cherry angiomas are due to aging and do not have any known significance. Spider angiomas are more common in childhood and during pregnancy due to increased blood flow and hormones. Venous lakes are most common in people ages 50+ who have experienced excessive sun damage.
How can I prevent angiomas?
There is no prevention for cherry and spider angiomas. Sunscreen and sun-protective clothing can prevent venous lake vascular lesions.
- Electrosurgery: Also called electrocauterization, a tiny electric needle punctures the angioma, delivering an electrical current that destroys the blood cells causing the visible redness.
- Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the affected area, destroying the cell walls and tissue that are creating the redness.
- PDL (pulsed dye laser) and Diode KTP laser: A concentrated ray of focused light destroys the blood cells causing the angioma.