A cherry hemangioma is a common noncancerous (benign) skin growth made up of blood vessels. It is a type of angioma, which is a category of benign growths or tumors. Cherry hemangiomas derive their name from their red or purple appearance. They range in size from a pinpoint to one-fourth of an inch in diameter. They are typically bright red, circular or oval in shape, and small – they often look like red moles. Some cherry hemangiomas appear smooth and even with the skin, while others appear slightly raised. They can develop anywhere on the body but most often grow on the torso, arms, legs, and shoulders. They can bleed if scratched, rubbed, or cut open.


The exact cause of cherry hemangiomas is unknown, but they tend to be inherited (genetic). They occur spontaneously at any age but most commonly begin to develop when an individual reaches age 30. They may also increase in size and number with age. One study found that more than 75 percent of people over 75 years old have them. The incidence of cherry hemangiomas is uniform across all races, but individual lesions are most noticeable on pale-skinned people.

These skin growths are harmless and generally pose no problem unless they bleed frequently or change in size, shape, or color. Although cherry hemangiomas do not need to be treated, some may feel embarrassed or self-conscious by their appearance and want them removed.

Diagnosis & Treatment

At DermaHealth, our professionals will look at the growth on your skin to diagnose a cherry hemangioma; no further tests are usually necessary. We remove these skin growths with pulsed dye laser (PDL) treatments. The PDL uses a concentrated beam of light that targets blood vessels in the skin. The light is converted into heat, destroying the blood vessels while leaving the surrounding skin undamaged. The laser uses yellow light, which is very safe and does not result in any long-term skin damage. Although treatment sessions vary depending on the size and amount of blemishes, many clients only need one treatment session.

Benefits of PDL Treatment

Although there are a variety of methods to treat cherry hemangiomas – including burning, freezing, and shaving – we approach removal with PDL treatment because it is simple, fast, and effective. This method is also comfortable, safe, and minimally invasive. PDL treatment typically requires little downtime and provides quick recovery.

For more information and to see if you are a candidate for our cherry hemangioma PDL treatment, schedule a complimentary consultation with DermaHealth today.