A cherry angioma is a type of growth that appears on the skin as a bright red patch because of a grouping together of blood vessels underneath the skin. They are common skin lesions, especially after the age of 30, and can develop on any part of the body. Cherry angiomas are benign and typically small in size, ranging from a pinpoint to approximately one-quarter inch across. It is not known exactly what causes cherry angiomas to form, but they are often inherited.
Cherry angiomas are usually harmless and require no treatment. However, they tend to bleed profusely when injured because of the concentration of blood cells at the skin's surface. If the appearance or bleeding of a cherry angioma becomes bothersome, they can quickly and easily be removed. A physician will determine which method is best depending on a variety of factors, and may choose cautery to burn it off, cryotherapy to freeze it off, laser treatment or excision.
Also known as a developmental venous anomaly (DVA), a venous angioma involves an abnormal draining of tissue in the brain that tends to affect a small cluster of veins most often located near the frontal horns of the ventricles and the cerebellum. In most patients, venous angiomas are present at birth, although the specific cause and risk factors are unknown, making them know as a "congenital anomaly". In many cases, the lesion does not develop until later in life.
Most patients with DVAs do not experience any symptoms, although headache, dizziness, ataxia and seizures are possible. Patients who do develop symptoms from a DVA may be suffering from an associated condition such as a cavernous angioma, which may be the actual cause of symptoms.
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