Cherry angiomas, or hemangiomas, are red papules on the skin. They are harmless (benign) lesions containing an abnormal cluster of blood vessels and have no relationship to cancer. They are often bright red, circular or oval in shape, and are small—usually ranging in size from a pinpoint to about 1/4 of an inch in diameter. Some cherry angiomas appear smooth and even with the skin, while others are slightly raised. They most often grow on the torso, arms, legs, and shoulders. Bleeding can occur if the angioma is scratched, rubbed, or cut open. Most cherry angiomas don’t need to be treated, unless they are located in areas that are easily bumped and can lead to regular bleeding. Options for cosmetic angioma removal that are typically not covered by insurance include: electrocautery (heating with an electric current delivered by a tiny probe), cryosurgery (freezing with an extremely cold liquid nitrogen spray), laser treatment with a concentrated yellow light, and shave excision (cutting out the lesion and closing the wound with stitches).
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