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Red lesion on back

A 75-year-old man returned to our family medicine skin clinic for repeat evaluation due to a history of squamous cell carcinoma and actinic keratoses. He was asymptomatic but had this red lesion on his back.

What is your diagnosis?


Red lesion on back

Dermoscopy was performed, which confirmed that this was a cherry angioma, also called a cherry hemangioma or Campbell de Morgan spot.

Cherry angiomas are benign proliferations that typically appear after age 30 as tiny bright erythematous macules that, over time, enlarge into papules. In their early, and smaller, stages they are typically maraschino cherry red, hence the name cherry angiomas. As they enlarge or become thrombosed, some lesions become darker red or even black in color. (The dermoscopy image shown here demonstrates the bright red globular red pattern that is classically seen with cherry angiomas.)

Cherry angiomas do not require treatment. If treatment is desired for cosmetic purposes, they can be treated with electrocautery, cryosurgery, or laser. The patient in this case was not worried about the appearance of the lesion and opted to leave it alone unless he developed symptoms.

Images and text courtesy of Daniel Stulberg, MD, FAAFP, Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque.

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