Cherry Angiomas

Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP – Women’s International Pharmacy


Do you have bright red, sometimes raised, sometimes flat spots that seem to appear on your skin out of nowhere? Did your doctor tell you they are harmless and people get them as they age?

In his book Dr. Chi’s Fingernail and Tongue Analysis, Dr. Chi says cherry angiomas are created when estrogen attacks peripheral blood vessels, causing an aneurysm. This suggests hormones may be a major factor in cherry angioma formation.

While we don’t know for sure what causes cherry angiomas, they have been associated with excess estrogen and copper, bromide toxicity, and a vitamin C deficiency leading to weakened blood vessel walls. Cherry angiomas have been observed in pregnancy and with immune system suppression including chemotherapy. Also of note, a significant presence of human herpes virus 8 has been detected in cherry angiomas.

The red color is due to broken blood vessels inside the cherry angioma and any trauma to a cherry angioma may cause significant bleeding.

Even though they seem innocuous, cherry angiomas may be an early warning sign that something is amiss. The location of the angioma may be helpful in determining which organs are affected. Cherry angiomas on the abdomen may indicate liver or hormonal problems. Cherry angiomas near the hairline area or on the head may indicate a potential risk of stroke or aneurysm.

It is important to check your skin for these tiny red spots and pay attention to what they are telling us so we can make the appropriate changes to optimize our health!

  • Cohen AD, et al. Cherry angiomas associated with exposure to bromides. Dermatology. 2001;202(1):52-3.
  • Borghi A, et al. Detection of human herpesvirus 8 sequences in cutaneous cherry angiomas. Arch Dermatol Res. 2013 Sep;305(7):659-64. doi: 10.1007/s00403-013-1346-5. Epub 2013 Apr 2.
  • Chi T. Dr. Chi’s Fingernail and Tongue Analysis. Third Edition. Anaheim, CA: Chi’s Enterprise, Inc.; 2010.
  • Delgado A. Cherry Angioma. Healthline. George Krucik, MD, 17 July 2012.
  • Scheinfeld NS. Vascular Nodules and Papules. The Clinical Advisor. 12 July 2011. Web.