Skin Disorders

What is the bright red spot on my skin that looks like a little cherry?

A Answers (2)

  • AHealthwise answered
    Cherry angiomas (ruby spots) are harmless clusters of dilated tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that become more common after age 30. The cause is unknown. Bright, cherry red, smooth spots appear most often on the trunk and upper legs but may also be found on the face, neck, scalp and arms. The size of the spots may vary from pinhead-size to about the size of a pencil eraser. Although they are painless and harmless, cherry angiomas may bleed profusely if injured, until pressure is applied to stop the bleeding. Cherry angiomas do not generally require any treatment. A doctor can remove them with surgery, freezing (cryotherapy) or burning (electrosurgery or cautery) if their appearance causes embarrassment or distress.

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  • AJill Grimes, MD, Family Medicine, answered
    Tiny bright red spots on your skin that sometimes grow to maybe the size of a pencil eraser may be cherry hemangiomas, or cherries, for short. These are super common across all races, but most obvious in light-skinned people. You may get more as you age.

    They are inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern, which simple means if you've got 'em, you are going to pass them on to your kids every time. They used to go by an awful name -- senile hemangiomas. Glad we're now more politically correct on this one!

    Cherries are formed by a proliferation of tiny blood vessels. If you run over one with your razor as you are shaving, you can expect some significant bleeding, so be careful.

    Happily, though, that is the worst thing these guys do. Cherries do not turn into cancers or cause any other issues beyond cosmetic.

    Of course, not all bright red spots on your skin are cherry hemangiomas, so check with your doctor if you are concerned.
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