Treatment Modalities for Cherry Angiomas: A Systematic Review

Dermatol Surg. 2020 Dec;46(12):1691-1697. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000002791.


Background: Cherry angiomas are benign vascular proliferations of endothelial cells associated with aging. Currently, no mainstay of treatment for these vascular anomalies exists.

Objective: To review existing evidence-based therapies for the treatment of cherry angiomas.

Methods: A literature search in May 2019 was performed with PubMed Database and Cochrane Library using the following terms: "cherry angioma," "senile hemangioma," "senile angioma," "cherry hemangioma," and "Campbell de Morgan spots."

Results: Ten studies included in this systematic review reported laser therapy and nonlaser therapy as efficacious treatments for cherry angiomas. Among the laser therapies, pulsed dye laser (PDL) was preferred over potassium-titanyl-phosphate (KTP) and electrodessication (ED), based on decreased procedure-related pain. The neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser 1064 nm produced less pigmentary complications, whereas KTP and PDL risked pigmentary changes in darker-skinned individuals. Nonlaser therapies included cryotherapy, sclerotherapy, electrosurgery (i.e., ED, electrocoagulation), and radiofrequency ablation. No therapy proved to be superior.

Conclusion: A variety of therapeutic modalities exist for the treatment of cherry angiomas. However, a limited number of high-quality studies explored the efficacy of treatments and compared treatment modalities. Light-based methods such as argon, KTP, Nd:YAG, intense pulsed light, and PDL, along with non-light-based interventions such as cryotherapy, electrosurgery, and sclerotherapy effectively treated cherry angiomas.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology
  • Cryotherapy / adverse effects
  • Cryotherapy / methods
  • Dermatology / methods*
  • Electrosurgery / adverse effects
  • Electrosurgery / methods
  • Endothelial Cells / pathology
  • Evidence-Based Medicine / methods*
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Hemangioma / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / adverse effects
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / instrumentation
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods
  • Sclerotherapy / adverse effects
  • Sclerotherapy / methods
  • Skin / blood supply
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin / radiation effects
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome