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Skin Care and Diseases

LITTLE, RED MARKS ON MY SKIN

11/07/2005

Question:

I am 26 and have started developing little, red, prick-type marks on my skin. It`s not a rash, or spots. They are flush with my skin and look like tiny blood marks, about the size of a pin prick. (some a little larger). They seem to get bigger (very minimally) over time. Looking at my mother, she has some and so does my grandmother (larger ones she calls liver spots) but liver spots are brown and much larger. These are blood red and small. At my age they are pin prick sized...and at her age they are larger (about the size of the back of a pin)and raised (but still blood red). My grandmother only has a few of these mystery spots on her chest, thighs and arms... I on the other hand have hundreds and am concerned I`ll get more and they`ll get bigger. What are they? Have you ever heard of them?

Answer:

You have described cherry angiomas, originally described by Dr. Demorgan.  They are benign.  Their cause is unknown.  They are not associated with any systemic dysfunction or abnormality.  They do increase in number and size with age.  Some families have more than others.  Since they are benign, there is no real cause for concern.  If they become a cosmetic problem, they may easily be destroyed with an electric needle or laser.

There are other vascular lesions with which these might be confused, such as spider angioma, telangiectasias, etc., but your discription fits best with the cherry angioma.

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Response by:

Charles L Heaton, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati