Have you ever heard the term Cherry angiomas? If you haven’t, that’s fine, not many people have. Many have, however, seen them on people or themselves, without knowing what they were looking at: cherry angiomas, also known as Campbell De Morgan spots or senile angiomas, are cherry red papules on the skin which contain an abnormal proliferation of blood vessels. They are called Campbell de Morgan spots in honor of the nineteenth-century British surgeon Campbell De Morgan, who was the first to note and describe them. They are the most common form of angioma and their presence usually increases with age.
Signs and symptoms:
- Cherry red and purple bumps
- Appear on torso, hands, arms, legs, face, scalp and neck
- Young angiomas are the size of a pinhead
- Usually spongy, smooth and mushroom shaped
- Painless and harmless
- Bleeding can occur upon contact Cherry angiomas on the scalp usually bleed due to accidental brushing or combing.
Although harmless, it is important to keep an eye on angiomas. If they change shape, color, or start to itch, consult your doctor immediately. The appearance of these clusters of blood vessels is usually hereditary and often happens over the age of thirty; their proliferation often increases as a person ages. They are usually red in color, but can also be blue or yellow depending on the skin.
Cherry angiomas are actually clusters of capillaries at the top of the skin that form a round dome which can also have a flat top. They are usually about a millimeter in diameter but can grow up to about two millimeters in width. As it grows, an angioma can become more rounded at the top and tends to expand in thickness. They can also bleed profusely if they are scratched or cut since the blood vessels are so close to the skin surface.