Cherry Hemangioma Clinical Presentation
- Author: Clarence William Brown, Jr, MD, FAAD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD more...
Cherry angiomas typically present in the third or fourth decades of life, and early lesions may appear as small red macules. Lesions may be found on all body sites, but usually, the mucous membranes are spared. Most patients report an increase in number and size of individual lesions with advancing age.
Cherry angiomas can be found on every aspect of the integument—both in sun-exposed and in non‒sun-exposed areas, even including the scalp and genitalia.
On physical examination, lesions may have a variable appearance, ranging from a small red macule to a larger dome-topped or polypoid papule. The color of the lesions typically is described as bright cherry red, but the lesions may appear more violaceous (purple) over time (see the image below).
Rarely, a lesion demonstrates a dark brown to an almost black color when a hemorrhagic plug occupies the vascular lumen, often raising concern about the possibility of a malignant melanoma.
Little is known about the factors that contribute to the formation of cherry hemangiomas. Several reports have described the appearance of many small red papules histologically resembling cherry hemangiomas in patients with malignancies, in association with segmental dyschromatosis and blue nevi, and following treatment with topical nitrogen mustard therapy.[4, 5] However, the vast majority of cherry angiomas occur in healthy patients.
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