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Cherry angioma
Classification and external resources

A cherry angioma.
ICD-9 448.1
DiseasesDB 30744
MedlinePlus 001441
eMedicine derm/73

Cherry angiomas (also known as "Campbell De Morgan spots," and "Senile angiomas",[1] are cherry red[2] papules on the skin containing an abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. They are the most common kind of angioma. They are also called senile angiomas or Campbell de Morgan spots, after the nineteenth-century British surgeon Campbell De Morgan who first noted and described them.

The frequency of cherry angiomas increases with age.



Cherry angiomas are made up of clusters of tiny capillaries at the surface of the skin, forming a small round dome ("papule"), which may be flat topped. They range in colour from bright red to purple. When they first develop, they may be only a tenth of a millimeter in diameter and almost flat, appearing as small red dots. However, they then usually grow to about one or two millimeters across, and sometimes to a centimeter or more in diameter. As they grow larger, they tend to expand in thickness, and may take on the raised and rounded shape of a dome. Multiple adjoining angiomas are said to form a polypoid angioma. Because the blood vessels comprising an angioma are so close to the skin's surface, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if they are injured.


Cherry angiomas appear spontaneously in many people in middle age but can also, although less common, occur in young people. They can also occur in an aggressive eruptive manner in any age. The underlying cause for the development of cherry angiomas is far from understood, much because of a lack of interest in the subject. This is probably due to the fact that they very rarely are caused by an internal malignancy. Chemicals and compounds that have been seen to cause cherry angiomas are mustard gas,[3][4][5][6] 2-butoxyethanol,[7] bromides[8] and cyclosporine.[9] A correlation has been seen between cherry hemangiomas and activity of the enzyme carbonic anhydrase[10] as well as a significant increase in the density of mast cells in cherry hemangiomas compared with normal skin.[11]


On the rare occasions that they require removal, traditionally cryosurgery or electrosurgery have been used.[12] More recently pulsed dye laser or Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) treatment has also been used.[13][14]


In most patients, the number and size of cherry angiomas increases with advancing age. They are harmless, except in very rare cases that involve a sudden appearance of many angiomas, which can be a sign of a developing internal malignancy.


Cherry angiomas occur in all races, ethnic backgrounds, and sexes.


  1. ^ James, William; Berger, Timothy; Elston, Dirk (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology (10th ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders. p. 595. ISBN 978-0-7216-2921-6. OCLC 62736861.  
  2. ^ cherry angioma at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  3. ^ Firooz A, Komeili A, Dowlati Y (April 1999). "Eruptive melanocytic nevi and cherry angiomas secondary to exposure to sulfur mustard gas". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 40 (4): 646–7. PMID 10188695.  
  4. ^ Hefazi M, Maleki M, Mahmoudi M, Tabatabaee A, Balali-Mood M (September 2006). "Delayed complications of sulfur mustard poisoning in the skin and the immune system of Iranian veterans 16-20 years after exposure". International Journal of Dermatology 45 (9): 1025–31. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2006.03020.x. PMID 16961503.  
  5. ^ Ma HJ, Zhao G, Shi F, Wang YX (December 2006). "Eruptive cherry angiomas associated with vitiligo: provoked by topical nitrogen mustard?". The Journal of Dermatology 33 (12): 877–9. doi:10.1111/j.1346-8138.2006.00200.x. PMID 17169094.  
  6. ^ Emadi SN, Hosseini-Khalili A, Soroush MR, Davoodi SM, Aghamiri SS (March 2008). "Mustard gas scarring with specific pigmentary, trophic and vascular charactristics (case report, 16-year post-exposure)". Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 69 (3): 574–6. doi:10.1016/j.ecoenv.2007.01.003. PMID 17382390.  
  7. ^ Raymond LW, Williford LS, Burke WA (December 1998). "Eruptive cherry angiomas and irritant symptoms after one acute exposure to the glycol ether solvent 2-butoxyethanol". Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 40 (12): 1059–64. doi:10.1097/00043764-199812000-00005. PMID 9871882.  
  8. ^ Cohen AD, Cagnano E, Vardy DA (2001). "Cherry angiomas associated with exposure to bromides". Dermatology 202 (1): 52–3. doi:10.1159/000051587. PMID 11244231.  
  9. ^ Eruptive Angiomas After Treatment With Cyclosporine in a Patient With Psoriasis
  10. ^ Eichhorn M, Jungkunz W, Wörl J, Marsch WC (January 1994). "Carbonic anhydrase is abundant in fenestrated capillaries of cherry hemangioma". Acta Dermato-venereologica 74 (1): 51–3. PMID 7908484.  
  11. ^ Hagiwara K, Khaskhely NM, Uezato H, Nonaka S (September 1999). "Mast cell "densities" in vascular proliferations: a preliminary study of pyogenic granuloma, portwine stain, cavernous hemangioma, cherry angioma, Kaposi's sarcoma, and malignant hemangioendothelioma". The Journal of Dermatology 26 (9): 577–86. PMID 10535252.  
  12. ^ Aversa AJ, Miller OF (1983). "Cryo-curettage of cherry angiomas". The Journal of dermatologic surgery and oncology 9 (11): 930–1. PMID 6630708.  
  13. ^ Dawn G, Gupta G (2003). "Comparison of potassium titanyl phosphate vascular laser and hyfrecator in the treatment of vascular spiders and cherry angiomas". Clin. Exp. Dermatol. 28 (6): 581–3. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2230.2003.01352.x. PMID 14616818.  
  14. ^ Fodor L, Ramon Y, Fodor A, Carmi N, Peled IJ, Ullmann Y (2006). "A side-by-side prospective study of intense pulsed light and Nd:YAG laser treatment for vascular lesions". Annals of plastic surgery 56 (2): 164–70. doi:10.1097/ PMID 16432325.  

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