What is a Capillary Hemangioma?
Capillary Hemangioma (sometimes referred to as cherry angioma) is a localized proliferation and cluster of vascular cells. They appear as “red bumps” that can vary from light red to dark purple in color. These lesions are non-cancerous (benign) lesions that typically have no symptoms of pain or itching. They can develop anywhere on the body, but often present on the chest, back and abdomen in adults. More lesions may develop as we age, but unfortunately, nothing can be done to prevent them. However, they can be easily treated for cosmetic reasons if you find them unsightly.
Capillary Hemangioma Treatment Options
The V Beam (pulsed dye laser) constricts blood vessels and works very well for smaller, flatter lesions. This laser is non-ablative (does not cut the surface of the skin) and therefore leaves no scarring and minimal or no marks after treatment. No anesthetic is required as the pain is quite transient and will only sting for a few seconds following the treatment. Multiple small vessels can be treated during one session.
The Co2 laser is often required to surgically remove larger, more elevated lesions. The area will be anesthetized with a small needle under the skin. A skin biopsy will be sent to the pathologist to confirm the diagnosis and then the remainder of the lesion will be removed with the laser. As these lesions often have deeper roots and there is a vascular component to them, multiple passes with the laser may be required to remove the base of the lesion and cauterize the blood vessels. The area will need to crust and heal over the next few weeks, and small white marks may remain after they have healed.