Angiomas: Red Flag or Benign Skin Growth?
The dreaded C word: cancer. Many of us have been touched by this condition, whether personally or through someone that we’ve known over the years. What most people aren’t aware of, however, is that tumors form in our body on a regular basis. Unlike malignant tumors that metastasize, or spread, and start to cause an out-of-control chain reaction in other parts of our body, benign tumors are relatively harmless.
One particular type that is associated with skin care is known as an angioma. Whereas melanoma affects the skin cells directly, angiomas are benign tumors that affect tissue just below the surface of the skin. The result is usually a raised and reddish growth that can often be mistaken for skin problems.
The most common form of angioma is known as cherry angioma, or a red mole. These benign growths are actually an outgrowth of vascular cells originating just below the skin. While research continues into what actually causes them, there’s a heavy genetic component. The good news is that they’re relatively harmless, and the biggest side effect is typically cosmetic in nature. One thing to note is that, given that they’re a cluster of tiny capillaries, they are known to bleed very easily when scraped or pierced.
Other angiomas, such as bacterial angiomas, are significantly lower in number. Typically, they can form anywhere on the body, and increase in probability as we age.
Generally speaking, due to the harmless nature of this condition, you don’t need to worry about them. However, if you do decide to have one removed, you have several different options.
- cryosurgery (freezing of the tissue)
- electrocauterization (an electrical shock is sent into the tissue to kill it)
- laser surgery (light pulses are used to sear the structure)
- excision (the angioma is physically removed from the skin)
Recovery time is typically minimal. However, if you opt for the excision, you need to give the skin time to heal over.
When to see a Dermatologist
In most cases, cherry angiomas are harmless and are often addressed quickly with laser therapy. If yours starts to bleed regularly, change color and/shape, this may be a sign that a deeper problem is starting to take hold. In some cases, it could signify a deeper underlying problem. It could also mean nothing, but you should make an appointment with a medical dermatologist.
At Advanced Dermatology, our dermatologists are some of the most experienced medical practitioners in the industry, and have been treating conditions like angiomas in the New York and New Jersey area for over three decades. If you have any concerns over this condition, we encourage you to call us and schedule an appointment today at one of our locations in NYC, Long Island, and NYC. As industry leaders, we strive to provide our patients with the best healthcare possible, using the most up-to-date knowledge and technologies.