You should examine your skin regularly for new or changing moles, as this examination can help you detect the first signs of some types of skin cancer. If, during this examination, you encounter a new small red mole or even a few of them, then you likely wonder what they are. While you should have all new moles correctly diagnosed by your dermatologist, tiny red moles are often cherry angiomas. These moles are traditionally considered unsightly, yet harmless, although there are many theories as to why they occur and how to get rid of them.
What Are Cherry Angiomas?
While traditional brown skin moles are made of melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment in the skin, cherry angiomas are very different. Angiomas are made of many small blood vessels, called capillaries. While they can occur anywhere on the body, they commonly appear on the torso and chest.
You may see a cherry angioma and dismiss it because of its often very tiny size, but they can, and often do, continue to grow up to a centimeter in diameter. This may be when you begin to worry that you are developing a serious problem, such as skin cancer.
The good news? Cherry angiomas have no link to skin cancer and are completely benign.
What Causes These Unsightly Moles?
Now that you know these moles are not a sign of cancer, you may wonder just why you have begun getting them while others don't. Unfortunately, no one is quite sure why some people get cherry angiomas. There are several theories about why they develop.
These theories include:
- Improper liver function. While no one knows the exact link, people with impaired liver function often have cherry angiomas. This has led to a theory of correlation between the two.
- Too much bromine in the body. Bromine is a chemical that is used in many water treatment plants and is included in some pesticides. Some alternative medical practitioners believe that too much bromine intake can lead to cherry angioma formation.
- Genetic predisposition. Some doctors believe that some people just have a hereditary predisposition to getting these small red moles.
Before you become alarmed at the potential causes, remember that these theories have never been proven in medical studies. They are just beliefs held by groups of people that may or may not be true causes.
How Can You Get Rid Of Cherry Angiomas?
Most dermatologists see no reason to have cherry angiomas removed surgically unless they become very large or bleed often. They don't typically bleed spontaneously, but they can bleed when present on an area of the body where they rub against clothing that irritates them. However, if these moles make you feel less confident about your appearance and you want them removed for aesthetic reasons, then you can speak to your dermatologist about having them removed.
Some dermatologists opt to simply excise, or cut off, the angiomas. Other options include cauterizing them with a small electric probe, using cryosurgery to "freeze" them off with liquid nitrogen, or treating them with a laser.
If you want to try treating them with alternative methods that address the theory that they are caused by impaired liver function or excess bromine in your diet, then you can try a liver detoxification regimen or reducing items in your diet that contain bromine.
Whenever you have new moles or growths on your body, you should always have them looked at by your dermatologist, like those at Advanced Dermatology Care, to find out exactly what they are. The good news is that if you suspect cherry angiomas, then your dermatologist will likely tell you not to worry about these small moles unless they begin to bother you.