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Simply put, you do not remove Campbell de Morgan spots yourself. Removal of these harmless skin papules is best left to medical professionals who have the necessary skills and equipment to do the job. If they are bothersome, doctors can remove them using cryotherapy, electrosurgery or a vascular laser.
Campbell de Morgan spots, also known as cherry angiomas, hemangiomas and senile angiomas, can develop on any part of the body, but they occur most often on the torso. Caused by the proliferation of small, dilated blood vessels, these red spots usually begin to appear after age 40 and become more common with age. While they pose no threat to health, if they are located where underwear or clothing rub against them, they can become irritated. Otherwise, they are considered a cosmetic nuisance and insurance generally will not cover the cost of having them removed.
Cryotherapy is probably the most widely used method of removing these spots. It involves freezing the spots with liquid nitrogen applied by cotton swab or focused spraying device. Frozen spots form blisters, scab over and fall off within a few days of treatment. No other treatment is needed unless an infection develops, which is unlikely. Some minor skin discoloration may remain after the lesions have healed, but these usually fade over time.
The doctor may choose curettage and electrodessication, a form of electrosurgery, to remove the spots. This procedure involves cutting or scraping away the affected tissue with a sharp tool called a curette while sealing off adjacent blood vessels with an electric needle. The doctor will deaden the area before he or she begins, so there should be little if any pain. Some doctors prescribe topical antibiotic creams as a follow up, but there is usually no need for additional treatment. Scarring is minimal when a skilled practitioner does the work.
The newest method of removing Campbell de Morgan spots is the pulsed dye laser (PDL), which is a special laser used for treatment of skin conditions caused by or involving blood vessels. Suitable for all skin types, PDL is safe and effective. It is relatively painless and usually requires nothing more than topical anesthetic cream applied before the procedure, which will take only a few minutes. Laser surgery is the least invasive option for removing these spots, but it is the most expensive.
The number of PDL treatments necessary depends on the size of the spot being treated. Small hemangiomas may require only one or two treatments. Minor bruising is common in the treated area, but it usually goes away within a week or two. Any residual discoloration fades in time.
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