Marks on our bodies tend to freak us out. The worry isn’t unfounded: New moles (and changes in existing ones) can be signs of skin cancer. So any girl’s got to wonder: What about those little bright red dots or bumps on my bod: Worrisome or totally normal?
First, the lingo: Those skin growths—which are usually the size of a pinpoint, sometimes a bit bigger—are called cherry angiomas. And the good news is, they are completely benign, says Gary Goldenberg, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“These growths represent a collection of small blood vessels and can look red, deep blue, or purple,” he says. They pop up, he explains, when there’s an overgrowth of blood vessels in one area.
Both men and women can be prone to cherry angiomas, and it all comes down to genetics.
For the most part, there’s no need to do anything about your cherry angiomas (besides embrace them). Though if the marks tend to bleed easily if traumatized, you should see your doc to rule out anything more serious, says Goldenberg. And if the bumps are in places you’d rather they not be (like on your face), they can be treated for cosmetic purposes, he notes.