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Vascular Growths

Vascular growths are a collection of blood vessels usually found just below the surface of the skin that cause red or purple discolorations. Treatment depends on the type of growth.


Angiomas are benign growths made of a collection of small blood vessels. The cause is not known. They can appear anywhere on the body. They do not need treatment unless they bleed, are a cosmetic concern, or are in an area of the body that impacts normal function

Common types of vascular growths are:

  • Cherry Angiomas can be located anywhere on the body. They appear as a bright red small bump and are common in all ages. They are harmless, but can be linked to pregnancy, climate, and some diseases. The do not have any symptoms but they can bleed if injured.
  • Venous Lakes are found on lips and in the mouth. These are a collection of small veins that can result in a purple or dark appearing bump. They are harmless growths but can bleed if bumped.
  • Spider angiomas (telangiectasias) are harmless small, dilated or “broken” blood vessels that are close to the skin’s surface, usually on the face of people with fair skin. Telangiectasias can develop anywhere on the body but are usually found on the skin, particularly on the nose and cheeks, and mucous membranes. Usually, they cause no symptoms. However, they Can be a sign of other medical conditions.

Causes may include:

  • Rosacea – a skin condition that causes facial redness
  • Aging and thin skin
  • Genetics
  • Pregnancy – due to hormonal changes
  • Sun exposure – UV light
  • Trauma
  • Excessive use of steroid creams

How are vascular growths diagnosed?

Dr. Michael Sotiriou will listen to your concerns, ask about your symptoms, review your medical history, and conduct a physical exam. If there is a possibility of an underlying medical condition, he may order blood tests and imaging studies to diagnose or rule out a medical problem.

What are treatments for vascular growths?

There are numerous treatment options that may be used in combination to maximize the effects. Treatments rarely cause scarring.

Treatments include:

Sclerotherapy is best for larger veins on the legs. This procedure is minimally invasive and involves injecting the spider veins with a medication that irritates the wall of the veins causing them to collapse.

  • Intense pulsed light (IPL) is the use of a high-intensity source of light that destroys vascular and pigmented lesions. Spider veins and angiomas respond well to this treatment.
  • Laser therapy is very successful at treating spider veins and other vascular growths, especially on the face. It is minimally invasive. The laser energy delivers heat directly to the blood vessels causing them to seal and disappear without harming the surrounding skin skin. There are several different lasers effective to treat vascular lesions.
  • Electrodessication is the use of an electric needle to destroy the targeted blood vessels. This is a quick, simple, in office treatment with minimal pain.

Contact Dr. Sotiriou at Salt Lake Dermatology & Aesthetics in Salt Lake City Utah to schedule a consultation to have your vascular lesions evaluated and treated, especially if the lesion changes in color, has grown in size or bleeds.

At a Glance

Dr. Michael Sotiriou

  • Board-certified, Residency-Trained Medical and Cosmetic Dermatologist
  • Sub-Specialty Board Certification in Mohs Micrographic Dermatologic Surgery from the American Board of Dermatology
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology
  • Learn more

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