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Red Moles on the Skin - Types, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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7 min read


Red moles are noncancerous skin growth that consists of blood vessels. To learn more about it, read the article below.

Written by

Dr. Saranya. P

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav

Published At January 31, 2023
Reviewed AtAugust 16, 2023


A red mole on the body can be alarming. However, most of the time, it is nothing concerning. These red skin growths resemble brilliant cherry-red pimples and can be found anywhere on the skin. These moles typically appear red because of a collection of blood vessels that develop close to the skin's surface.

What Are Red Moles?

Most red moles are noncancerous growths, with cherry angiomas being the most prevalent form. The American osteopathic college of dermatology claims red moles are growths of dilated blood vessels. Red moles range from a pinhead to a quarter of an inch. The head can either be smooth or protruded from the skin, depending on the number of blood vessels involved.

What Are the Different Types of Red Moles?

The various red moles are as follows:

  1. Cherry angioma.

  2. Actinic keratosis.

  3. Spitz nevus.

  4. Intradermal melanocytic nevi.

  5. Pyogenic granuloma.

What Is Cherry Angioma?

Cherry angiomas are tiny, pinhead-like skin lesions that typically develop on a person's trunk, arms, and legs. Campbell de Morgan spots or senile angiomas are other names for cherry angiomas. Cherry angiomas are:

  • Round.

  • Size ranges from 2 to 4 millimeters.

  • Pale to dark red.

The word "cherry" refers to their color and pattern on the skin since angiomas frequently grow in clusters.


It is uncertain what causes cherry angiomas; however, research has revealed many conditions that may lead to cherry angiomas developing on the skin, including:

  • Aging.

  • Pregnancy (hormones).

  • Genetic changes.

  • Chemical contact (topical nitrogen mustard, bromides, and butoxyethanol).


Cherry angiomas are usually diagnosed by clinical examination, and investigation is unnecessary for most lesions. On dermoscopy (magnifying the skin, nails, and hair with a dermatoscope) examination, it has a distinctive red-clod or lobular pattern.

Risk Factors

Cherry angiomas are frequently observed in pregnant women, even though their origin is uncertain. Studies suggest that the formation of these growths on the skin during pregnancy may be influenced by hormones and high levels of prolactin, a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. After delivery, cherry angiomas frequently involute (decrease in size or vanish on their own).

What Is Actinic Keratosis?

Actinic keratosis (AK), a skin condition, results in rough, scaly skin patches. Solar keratosis is another term for actinic keratosis. Since actinic keratosis is a form of precancer, it could develop into cancer if left untreated.


The most frequent cause of actinic keratosis is excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. UV radiation is produced by the sun or indoor tanning devices like tanning beds. The keratinocytes, which make up the outermost layer of skin, can be harmed by UV rays.


Rough, raised bumps on the skin are one of the earliest indications of actinic keratosis. The bumps are gray, pink, or red and frequently have a yellow or brown crust on top. Additional signs can include:

  • Bleeding.

  • Stinging, itching, or burning.

  • Scaly, dry lips.

  • Skin growths resemble the horns of animals and protrude.

  • Fading of the lips' color.


A medical professional may frequently identify actinic keratosis using magnification and careful skin examination. A skin biopsy is suggested if the healthcare professional is unsure or the skin appears abnormal. With the help of this quick, minimally invasive process, the skin cells are studied under a microscope to produce a precise diagnosis.

What Is Spitz Nevus?

A spitz nevus is a noncancerous mole commonly manifesting in childhood. It typically appears as a pink lump that is rounded. The nevus can occasionally have a flat or rough appearance or be of a different hue, such as blue, red, black, or brown. A spitz nevus may also be called an epithelioid or spindle-cell nevus.


A spitz nevus is a benign (noncancerous) mole that commonly manifests in childhood. It typically appears as a pink lump that is rounded. They can occasionally have a flat or rough appearance or be of a different color, such as blue, black, or brown. A medical professional may also refer to a spitz nevus as an epithelioid or spindle-cell nevus.

Clinical Features

The clinical features are as follows:

  • Their diameter ranges from a few millimeters to as much as one or two centimeters.

  • Usually, they show up on the face or limbs.

  • A spitz nevus is often a single lesion. However, they can occasionally manifest as numerous lesions.

  • For a few months, a spitz nevus grows quickly. It may stay stagnant for years if left untreated after the initial growth phase.

  • After some time, a spitz nevus could spontaneously vanish.


A spitz nevus is frequently diagnosed clinically based on its distinctive dome-shaped appearance and rapid growth over a few weeks to months.

They might also run the following tests:

  • Dermoscopy: Examining the skin with a dermatoscope (a specialized magnifying lens) to check for mole anomalies.

  • Mole Mapping: Observing changes in the mole's size, color, and shape using a special camera with a dermatoscopic lens.

  • Skin Biopsy: Only a skin biopsy can definitively determine whether a mole is malignant. The dermatologist will take a sample of your mole's skin and check it for cancer indications.

What Is Pyogenic Granuloma?

A pyogenic granuloma is an acquired noncancerous proliferation of capillary blood vessels in the skin and mouth cavity. When it develops during pregnancy, the pyogenic granuloma is known as granuloma gravidarum or pregnant tumor.


A pyogenic granuloma may develop due to various factors. Some of them are as follows:

  • Trauma - Recent small trauma contributes to 7 % of presentations, and slight chronic irritation in the mouth cavity is believed to be a frequent cause. Intranasal pyogenic granuloma has been linked to nasal piercings in some cases.

  • Hormonal Impacts - The use of oral contraceptives and 5 % of pregnancies.

  • Medications - Oral retinoids, protease inhibitors (used to treat HIV/AIDS), targeted cancer therapy, and immunosuppressants are some examples of drugs.

  • Infection - Staphylococcus aureus is usually seen in cases of infection. Poor dental hygiene is frequently associated with the oral cavity. No evidence does not support viral etiology.

Clinical Features

  • A tiny, fleshy bump that protrudes from the skin or mucous membranes is the first sign of a pyogenic granuloma. It often develops quickly from a few millimeters (the crayon's tip) to roughly a half-inch (the tip of a finger).

  • The appearance of pyogenic granulomas has been compared to ground beef. They can be purple, pink, red, or reddish-brown. They frequently form a white "collar" of scaly skin around the bottom.

  • When mature, the growths frequently have a stalk-like structure that attaches them to the skin (pedunculated). However, they can also adhere to the skin directly (sessile).

  • A pyogenic granuloma's surface is initially smooth but can eventually become rough or crusty. The lesions leak, rupture, and bleed because they are delicate.


Pyogenic granuloma is typically diagnosed clinically. However, tissue may be submitted for microscopic study after the lesion has undergone surgical excision or when the diagnosis is uncertain.

What Are Intradermal Melanocytic Nevi?

Simply put, an intradermal nevus, also known as an intradermal melanocytic nevus, is a typical mole or birthmark. Nevus is the name for the mole. "Intradermal" refers to a mole's cells below the skin's outermost layer.


There are three possible reasons for an intradermal nevus. They are as follows.

  • Damage from the sun, particularly for people with fairer skin.

  • Therapies that weaken the immune system, such as those used to treat cancer, can increase the number of moles.

  • Hereditary variables increase the likelihood of the child having moles, such as if the parents had many of them.

Clinical Features

  • Intradermal nevi resemble flesh-colored bumps on the skin's surface, though they might occasionally appear somewhat brown.

  • Although intradermal nevi can develop anywhere on the skin, the scalp, neck, upper arms, and legs are where they most frequently manifest. They may show up on the eyelid as well.

  • Typically, the bumps are tiny, measuring between 5 millimeters and 1 centimeter. They are frequently flat and a shade similar to the person's skin tone in children. The nevus typically becomes more noticeable after a person approaches adolescence. Around the time an individual reaches 70, nearly all nevi lose a significant amount of pigmentation.

  • Nevi feel rubbery and are lifted from the skin's surface.

  • Typically, an intradermal nevus is well-defined and rounded.

  • Nevi may also have a warty, dome-shaped appearance.


Clinical diagnosis of melanocytic nevi is typically made based on their normal appearance.

How Are Red Moles Treated?

The majority of patients with red moles do not require therapy. The doctor may advise mole mapping and yearly skin exams to check for odd changes in the mole. Some conventional treatment methods are as follows:

1. Cryosurgery: It involves applying extreme cold to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue. Cells cannot survive the extreme temperature and die after treatment. Various substances are used to create this extreme cold in cryotherapy. They are liquid nitrogen, liquid nitrous oxide, and argon gas. Two types of cryotherapies are as follows:

  • Internal Cryotherapy: It is used to treat conditions inside the body.
  • External Cryotherapy: It is used if the lesion is on the skin. The freezing agent is applied using a cotton swab. External cryotherapy causes frozen skin to break and peel off, so that healthy skin can grow.

2. Electrocauterization: Unwanted red skin growths are burned off by electrocauterization. Lasers are frequently employed to remove the red papule accurately. A lot of people occasionally have inflammation near the treatment area.

3. Curettage: Curettage is a technique for removing harmful moles and unwanted growths.

4. Pulsed Dye Laser: A laser is used to burn off the red mole, much like electrocauterization. It accomplishes this by focusing a laser beam's heat on the skin's growth.

5. Sclerotherapy: Injecting saline solution is a less expensive method some dermatologists employ to eliminate red moles. Sclerotherapy is a helpful treatment for cherry angiomas.

How to Recognize a Dangerous Red Mole?

Medical professionals advise keeping a watch on any moles to see whether they alter in any manner. The ACBDEs' should be followed to check for developing moles that may turn cancerous. They are as follows.

  • Asymmetry: The mole is shaped asymmetrically, with one half being different sizes and shapes from the other.

  • Border: Problematic moles will have a ragged or crooked border.

  • Color: Different hues of brown, black, white, blue, or white can be found on the mole.

  • Diameter: The mole is bigger than the eraser on a pencil.

  • Evolves: The mole undergoes size, color, and shape variations.

A close examination is necessary to ensure patient safety if a mole demonstrates any of these characteristics. Consideration should also be given to newly developed moles that spread swiftly and any that itch and bleed.


Red moles are a fairly common occurrence in everybody. Red moles are noncancerous skin growths and are not a cause for concern. They are of varying sizes and shapes but do not require treatment. However, if aesthetically, it concerns one it can be dealt with a number of procedures but generally it is left alone unless it shows changes in appearance. Consult the dermatologist if there are abrupt changes in skin growth.

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Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav
Dr. Dhepe Snehal Madhav



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