Red moles can pop up on your body with little to no warning at all. If you’re alarmed by their appearance, you’re definitely not alone, but you can take a deep breath and relax. Most red moles — scientifically known as cherry angiomas — are completely harmless, so no need to panic if you see them on your skin.
A cherry angioma is a non-cancerous skin growth made up of blood vessels and characterized by a bright, red color and small size (about 1/4 inch in diameter), says Medline Plus. These red moles can appear anywhere on the body, but typically develop on the torso. The exact cause of cherry angiomas is unknown, but they do tend to be genetic. They’re most often seen in folks over the age of 30.
Cherry angiomas don’t usually display any negative symptoms or side effects. However, they can bleed easily if scratched, cut, or rubbed open, according to Healthline. But you’ll probably forget they’re even there — especially if they’re covered by your clothes — most of the time.
Currently, there’s no surefire way to prevent cherry angiomas from forming. But according to the Cleveland Clinic, it is possible to get a dermatologist to remove them for cosmetic purposes. Laser therapy is often the most successful way to completely eliminate them, but you could also get them frozen off with cryotherapy, burned via electrosurgery, or a get a shave excision with a small blade.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind that cherry angiomas are benign, so there’s no dire need to get them removed for health reasons. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, these marks are simply a sign of “maturity” as we age and they appear more often as we get “older and wiser.”
But if your cherry angiomas have any complications, such as bleeding often or a sudden change in appearance, you should see your doctor ASAP. Always better to be safe than sorry!