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What are Campbell De Morgan Spots?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Campbell de Morgan Spots are also called cherry angioma or hemangioma. They are small red spots that tend to occur in people over the age of 40. These spots can occur with greater frequency as individuals get older, sometimes leading people to call them senile angioma. They are normally found on the trunk of the body, usually no larger than about 0.25 inches (0.64 cm) across. Some are pinprick sized and barely noticeable.

The bright red or purple color of Campbell de Morgan Spots results from tiny capillaries at the skin’s surface clustering together and dilating. They are not harmful, and are considered a benign skin growth. The spots are not painful, but some are prone to bleeding when scratched or bruised. People may want them removed simply because they find their presence annoying or unsightly. From a purely medical perspective, they don’t require removal unless they’re prone to bleeding frequently.

When they are removed, medical professionals usually use one of three different methods. Cryotherapy is the most common, and it uses liquid nitrogen to essentially freeze off the Campbell de Morgan Spots. Electrosurgery is minor surgery, using a small needle that generates electricity to disrupt and remove an angioma. Laser removal is also possible. These procedures tend to leave very little scarring, if any.

In some cases, Campbell de Morgan Spots do get larger, and in these cases, it is usually a good idea for a person to have them removed. Sometimes, the healthcare professional will perform a biopsy to be certain that the spots are indeed harmless angioma, but this is often unnecessary since they are well recognized by the medical community. Larger spots may be slightly more prone to bleeding and a bit more scarring when removed.

Medical professionals don’t really know what causes Campbell de Morgan Spots, though it is theorized they simply represent one of the aging factors of skin. They occur with equal frequency in both men and women, and they tend to be more common as people age. Some people seem more prone to getting these spots than do others, suggesting that certain skin types or population groups may be more at risk.

Fortunately, the spots do not pose any type of threat to most people. They don’t indicate skin cancer, and they usually don’t require any type of treatment. As with any skin growth, however, people should have any new skin growths examined by a medical professional to rule out cancer or another serious condition.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By mtnmama57 — On Jun 07, 2014

I recently saw bromine toxicity as a cause of the cherry angiomas (red spots, Campbell de Morgan spots). Iodine supplements are supposed to reduce/eliminate the spots. Has anyone else seen bromine toxicity as a cause? Has anyone tried the iodine and seen results?

By anon283879 — On Aug 07, 2012

I have one at the side of my nose, near my eye. I'm 35 and have had it for at least the past 20 years.

By anon269023 — On May 16, 2012

I also have these but they have only appeared recently. I am 24 years old so believe it nothing to do with age. I have one on my nose and a few others appearing on my face.

I hate the look of them but more than that is the fact that there has been very little research. People don't even know what causes them and there is no over the counter treatment.

Surely this should be researched more!

By anon264515 — On Apr 28, 2012

I have a ton of them that just erupted along with a host of other problems: hypoglycemia, fatigue, muscle weakness and feeling lightheaded all the time no matter what I eat! I only had one on my back but recently in the course of a week, have hundreds and the old one is even bigger.

I'm 27 and this doesn't run in my family at all. I'm the only one. So I don't buy that it is genetic or found in old age because I am neither. There definitely needs to be more research into what causes these and how to help them go away naturally.

By yvescedano — On Jan 24, 2012

I have had a couple of these spots on my hands and on my torso for as long as I can remember and have recently discovered a few more on my trunk, arms and thighs. I am a 31 year old woman and of Mediterranean descent.

After much anxiety about skin changes and visits to doctors and acupuncturists with no answers (and no biopsies, apparently none needed) I have concluded that they are attributed to age, genealogy and also stress. I have also been slowly eliminating things from my diet such as processed foods and caffeine and noticed that most of these small red spots appeared some short time after that. It's great to know there are others out there with this same condition it helps to alleviate a lot of anxiety surrounding it.

By anon221154 — On Oct 10, 2011

All of the women in my family have these red dots. My mother's belly was full of them! They start as few and as we age they multiply. More popped out when I sunbathed in my 20's. My mother-in-law has them and when I asked her if the women in her family has them she said yes. It's part of our Mediterranean heritage. They are of Italian descent. I am of French and Italian descent.

I bet if you went to an old folks home you could play guess how many dots on each body like a jellybean jar guessing contest.

By anon218681 — On Sep 29, 2011

I am glad to know that this is common in many people as we age and it's not just me. However, one grew inside my body. It attached itself on my lymph node causing pain. I had surgery to determine what was this lump showing in the x-ray. The doctor said this is very uncommon to have this in the body. Has anyone had one internally? I wonder how will I know if there are any more growing inside me. They are sure appearing rapidly externally.

By anon212436 — On Sep 07, 2011

I have it too. It appeared on my forearms (started with a few) when I was 17. It began to increase in numbers to about 40 on each arm after six years. Most are pin size but a couple are maybe 1-2 mm in diameter. Just recently, a few spots have appeared on my thighs.

I don't think is a "senile disease" but I do agree it is hereditary (dad has it)and my younger sis is starting to have it too.

It's quite unsightly, especially under the sun when the red spots become more obvious. Currently undergoing electrosurgery and hopefully the result will be good.

By anon211166 — On Sep 01, 2011

I've had these as far back as I can remember - perhaps from when I was 10 and I am 50 now. Both my sisters have them also as did my father.

I have them frozen off by my doctor every so often, or when they start getting larger. My main problem is every time I freeze one off, three more appear. The only one that has not reappeared was the one on my neck.

By anon198050 — On Jul 18, 2011

I'm 14 and I have had the spots for a while. There are more than 30 on each of my arms and they are no bigger than pin pricks. my parents both have them and they say that they are hereditary. the spots are not on any other part of my body and I was wondering if it was normal for someone my age to get them? --JF

By anon154926 — On Feb 22, 2011

You can get rid of these! i got rid of all of mine at a place called Athera Laser Clinic, it hardly cost anything and they went instantly!

By anon151668 — On Feb 11, 2011

I have developed a sudden eruption of these

blood-spots on my upper body and also on my arms. I would think it is caused by a liver toxification.

I have started eating more junk foods, sugars, red meat and carbonated sodas. It was a very hot summer, causing me to perspire more. I am surprised by how quickly these spots appeared. I like to believe the spots are caused by the liver function not being able to handle toxins in a body and then cause toxins to be released through your skin. As with some people who tend to have weak skin and acne, this may be more likely to happen.

I am now following a strict diet without any refined sugars, fats and I also drink apple cider vinegar, more water and vitamin C. I am seeing a dermatologist in two months time to discuss my case with him.

I hope that this help and please if you develop the same symptoms post it here. I will post again in a few months time. --Mark001

By anon148960 — On Feb 03, 2011

It seems that we all have these red spots that vary in size, not like a big growth though. I have a ton of them. they are now appearing on my thighs,as well as my breasts and stomach. It must just be a common thing in the process of aging, so no sense being embarrassed and worrying about covering them up. My sister has them, my husband too.

By anon143387 — On Jan 16, 2011

I am a 52 year old female. I have always had relatively healthy unmarked skin. Suddenly, I have had dozens of these ugly bright red dots appearing on my front torso, and on my breasts. I am so alarmed at how quickly they have appeared.

I want them to stop multiplying, and go away. What to do?

By anon139497 — On Jan 04, 2011

I heat up my tweezers on the stove and just touch the dot with the corner of the tweezers and it burns it off, even the bigger ones. I now have too many on my thighs to do that, though. I cut a bigger one off with a pair of scissors years ago. It bled, so I burnt it with hot tweezers and it stopped.

By anon128618 — On Nov 20, 2010

My holistic doctor says that they are now thought to be related to a problem with liver detoxification - which fits my case. Has anyone else come across this interpretation, or got other health problems that might include liver function problems (unfortunately unless these are major, most mainstream doctors will not be able to diagnose this).

By anon128113 — On Nov 18, 2010

I think i have Campbell de Morgan spots too; however they are only on my labia, and there are more than a dozen. When there were only one or two (three years ago), i went to my doctor and she suggested it was from the friction of sex, kind of like a blood blister. But now they have multiplied and oh I hate them, especially there!

By anon123337 — On Nov 01, 2010

I've had them since the age of 18 and I'm 22 now.

they're annoying sometimes because i have them in my backside and when sitting down or something they bleed.. a bit of blood comes out. but now they're increasing and also on my face now.

By anon120090 — On Oct 20, 2010

I started getting spots in my twenties. Now at 60, I probably have thousands of them. They began in my abdomen and are now covering my stomach, breasts, arms, legs - they are everywhere. Doctors always tell me they have never seen anyone with so many.

It's horrible - soon I will be wearing slacks and long sleeves in the summer instead of shorts and tank tops. They are so dense i don't even like for my husband to see me naked anymore.

I wish someone could research this to find a cure or way to remove them in a less expensive way. There is not enough money to laser them away, so I can only afford to go for the big ones or the ones in places I can't cover with clothes.

By anon91703 — On Jun 23, 2010

I'm 30 years old and have had the spots since 15 or so. I've noticed they have multiplied and I also have a few you can feel rising up from the body. I mainly have them on my stomach and chest. So why do they say it's with age because it's not? let's look at this closer. Thanks.

By anon75427 — On Apr 06, 2010

I would like to have my campbell de morgan spots removed. I have quite a lot of them on my torso, thighs and arms. Is laser the best and most successful treatment to remove these unsightly marks and if so would I need to be referred by my GP?

By anon73363 — On Mar 26, 2010

For me it was when I was 13. I grew up knowing my darling Mother had red spots on her face, but she didn't know what they were. A doctor told me that Campbell De Morgan's don't stay around for long. I think he meant the spots fall of after some time.

My darling mother had the same ones on her face when she passed away at 93. I have had mine now for 46 years all over my torso and I am having a couple checked shortly as they have gotten bigger quickly and one is touchy.

I am getting more and more as I age. Some of my siblings have them, but Mother's siblings didn't.

By anon66094 — On Feb 17, 2010

I love my spots. They are part of me and I would never consider removing them or hiding them. I have had them from about the age of 20 and my brother, father and grandmother have them too.

By anon63946 — On Feb 04, 2010

I am 30 and have hundreds of these spots, mainly on my arms but seem to be developing everywhere with time. I visited a dermatologist who said they were nothing to worry about. Had them removed with laser treatment. Cost very reasonable.

By anon37616 — On Jul 20, 2009

I have had Campbell du Morgan spots for the last 25 years, since my early 20's. Since I was born with a large cherry hemangionoma on my forehead (removed when a week old) the doctor who diagnosed them in my 30's said he was not surprised I developed so many. I have hundreds of pin-prick to freckle-sized ones on my torso, upper thighs and backs of my arms, and a few a bit larger on my breasts.

They have never grown, bled or been painful at all. They do cause me a bit of embarrassment so I wear one piece bathing suits and mid-thigh shorts in summer.

If anyone is concerned with their red spots, please see your doctor or dermatologist to rule out other possible causes. Most likely it is harmless Campbell du Morgan lesions, but better safe than sorry!

By anon19104 — On Oct 06, 2008

I have around 100 of these spots varying in size from a pinprick to 5mm in diameter. They are mostly on my chest but also arms and thighs. I'm male age 66 but have had them since early teens. they are increasing in number as I get older

By anon16413 — On Aug 05, 2008

please help i think i might have campbell be morgan spots as you have described what i have only i have had them since the age of 4 and i have been to embarrassed to wear skirts ever since and i am almost 15 now.

By chris1994 — On Jul 29, 2008

I have mega amounts of campbell de morgan spots all over the front part of my upper torso. Is there anything that can be done for them to lessen the appearance? I am embarrassed to wear any low cut shirt or a bikini top. There is too many (100's) to have them removed. Most of them are pinhead sized.

Help !!!!!!

By WGwriter — On Jul 05, 2008

Wow, lots of comments from folks getting these before they're 40. Thanks for all the comments. I think we should say that risk goes up for them occurring after 40, but clearly, you can develop them sooner. For those worried the spots are too large, sudden in appearance, or are bleeding, do consider following the advice of this article and have a doctor look at them. Sudden appearance of any type of skin spots always warrants a doctors visit to rule out other things.

Best, and thank you all for your great comments to this article! Tricia C

By frankjoseph — On Jul 04, 2008

The article says that people *tend* to get these in their 40s. Moreover, they are generally benign skin growths. So, I don't think that means that if you get it before you are 40 there is a danger or concern. I have these, most are the size of a pinprick. I've had them since I was young, probably as young as 15 or so. Every member in my family and extended family has them. If you are concerned about associated health concerns though, ask your doctor!

By anon15192 — On Jul 04, 2008

I've had them off and on, mostly on my left breast since my 20's. They don't pop easily as they are so tiny, but I found a larger one today and blood came out of it. If this usually doesn't happen until the 40's, then should I be concerned the onset was nearly 20yrs earlier?

By anon14934 — On Jun 27, 2008

Despite what the article states about age of onset, I first developed Campbell de Morgan spots in my teens. The diagnosis was made by my doctor, and have been seen by my dermatologist. The individual spots have not increased in size or caused any concern or discomfort over the years, but now that I'm in my late 40's they are increasing, slowly, in number.

By anon14464 — On Jun 17, 2008

I'm 41, but since I was 21 I noticed pin sized red spots that looked like blood just under my skin. It started on my arms. Now I have them on my legs. After some time, the tiny red spots fades into brown spots. I have numerous brown and red spots now on my arms and legs. One MD even said they are just freckles! It seems they are hereditary since my uncles have them too. Are these Cherry Angioma?

By sophieJ — On Jun 08, 2008

im 14 and i have discovered that i have got a campbell de morgan spot and i was just wondering if they will grow bigger as i get older? also it is very uncommon that children get them, so i was wondering if i should be worried? thanks

By anon13174 — On May 20, 2008

Hey guys, I'm 27 but had one spot on my abs in my early twenties didn't really know what it was and kept picking on it. It is now a visible raised spot and it has bled when shaving and not careful and it comes back, it has not grown anymore but do want to get it removed. Have noticed a few more here and there usually back, biceps or chest and they are pin size spots. Have read on a number of websites and these tend to occur due to stress as well but have read on these websites as well pretty much what you find on any website that discuss these spots. Not harmful, remove them only if you find them unsightly.

By anon11845 — On Apr 24, 2008

I have these spots -- they started when I was 24 and they have been increasing (I'm now 35). At first I had just a few on my chest, but now I have several on my chest, arms, a few on my legs. They are really unsightly -- I'm afraid someone might think I have AIDS or something. Seeing all these other comments I can't believe that these spots are for people over 40 only. Is this a cause for concern? Why would I and others get these spots at such an early age? Also, if you get them removed, will there be scars?

By Wingspan — On Oct 03, 2007

I tried popping the ones on my hands with a needle, thinking they were blood spots, but mine didn't go away, and it didn't even bleed like it should have.

By anon4109 — On Oct 03, 2007

I also am only 22 and appear to have these spots according to their description. I have had a total of 4 on my hands alone. The first one I got I thought to be a blood spot so I just burst it with a needle. It did go away. I now have some on my chest and biceps. I wanted to know if they can actually be removed by just puncturing them. I am a little strapped for cash and would like to have these removed before my wedding next year (June 2008)

By Wingspan — On Sep 21, 2007

Hi, I noticed these small red dots, needle-point size, over the last couple years, and became aware of their quantity as of late. I first noticed a couple on my hands, and more recently a few on my forearms, and a good number around my biceps/triceps. From description, they sound like "Campbell de Morgan spots," however I do not quite fall into the "middle age / 40ish" year range.

Actually, I am 18, 6'5, and 160 pounds. Could I be mistaking these spots for another issue?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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