If marks on your body get you worried that’s probably a good thing. Nothing worse than ignoring a new mole or a change to an existing one only to discover it’s cancer. But what about those bright red dots or bumps – should you be concerned about these too?
According to Gary Goldenberg at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York those skin growths are not typically a cause for concern unless it bleeds often or it changes in size, shape or colour.
Commonly called ‘cherry angiomas’ the skin growths are a collection of small blood vessels and can look red, deep blue or purple, they can be smooth on the skin or slightly raised and they most often grow on your torso, arms and shoulders. It seems they pop up when there is an overgrowth of blood vessels in one area.
Both men and women can get them, and it seems that if you do it’s all down to your genes.
Most of the time you can leave the cherry angioma alone; there’s no need to remove them.
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However, if you notice any changes in the way your angioma looks or feels you should schedule an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist to rule out something more sinister, like skin cancer. A doctor could do a biopsy, which involves removing and examining a small sample of the angioma to rule out a serious condition.
If for some reason you do want to have your angioma removed there are a couple of methods available.
You can use electrocauterisation, which is the burning of the angioma by using an electric current. You could also use a procedure called cryosurgery, which is the freezing of the angioma with liquid nitrogren. There is also the option of laser surgery that uses a pulsed dye laser to get rid of the angioma. The PDL gives off enough heat to destroy the lesion. Finally, you can use shave excision, which involves slicing away the angioma in thin layers until it’s gone.
Do you have any cherry angiomas or other skin bumps? Do you get regular check-ups with your health care professional?