What are those red spots on your skin?
January 6, 2007 12:33 PM   Subscribe

What are those little red spots on your torso - now one of them is growing...

My boyfriend accidentally scratched open one of those red spots on his skin and it began bleeding profusely. He stanched the bleeding and I slapped a band aid on it but he didn't want to wear it.
Now it has reformed itself, and it's about four times larger and now resembles a small hemangioma. It is very angry red and puffy.
Will this go away? what do you suggest? he seems unbothered about this, and if he's not worried I shouldn't be but I sort of am. I mean, if it breaks open again, will it quadruple again?!
posted by chickaboo to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
Ingrown hair?
posted by greta simone at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2007

They may be Petechia. But maybe not?? I have similar red dots on various body parts, but they're not temporary, and the older I get the more of them seem to appear. FWIW, my dad has them also, so I always just tended to think they're heriditary. Also, they aren't flat like mentioned in various articles, but more like little tiny blisters that never go away.

I've always found them to be harmless, but like you once decided to cut one only to find that it bled PROFUSELY.
posted by matty at 12:55 PM on January 6, 2007

I showed my doctor a couple of them once. She said to me, "Well, you're getting older."

Probably they are normal, though I have never scratched one and I don't know if it's normal for them to get larger. But I know I get them, and my doctor said it was normal to get them.
posted by veronitron at 1:00 PM on January 6, 2007

Sounds like a cherry angioma. I have a bunch that don't go away but haven't gotten worse. Once, however, one appeared on my finger and started growing larger than the usual pin prick size. When the skin covering it was broken it would bleed like no other. I went to a dermatologist who cut it out and cauterized the hole and I've since had no problems.
posted by Durin's Bane at 1:01 PM on January 6, 2007

See now - you peaked my interest! More research makes me think its probably (in my case at least) a Cherry Angioma. On preview, Durin's Bane beat me to it.

Thanks for asking a question that I had been wondering about myself!!
posted by matty at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2007

cherry angioma wins.
Thanks guys. Hope it doesn't get bigger.
posted by chickaboo at 2:08 PM on January 6, 2007

My father and I have what appears to be a hereditary tendency toward those. From what I understand, they are essentially small veins that grow outside the skin. I had one on my face in 4th grade that would gradually grow larger, then break off and bleed insanely. The larger the thing got, the more fragile it would become, until something simple like laughing or smiling would break it. Mine was surgically removed. My Dad had one on his cheek that he kept on shaving off.. (shudder)
posted by Niomi at 2:13 PM on January 6, 2007

Thanks Matty, after 33yrs of living I've just discovered that the small red dot I have on my stomach since day dot may well be Petechia.
posted by floanna at 2:26 PM on January 6, 2007

Now if there were only an easy way to get rid of the bloody things at home.
posted by adipocere at 2:28 PM on January 6, 2007

I have on in the crease of my nostril, and it used to drive me crazy. I talked to my doctor about it, and she hit it with liquid nitrogen (or spray or something, like what they do for warts) and it scabbed, and when the scab fell off, it was smaller and skin colored. It has not bled since then, although it still is raised.
Also, when they start bleeding, the only thing that stopped it for me was a q-tip absolutely soaked in Visine (or another *specifically* red-eye reducing formula, containing a vasoconstrictor, which stops the bleeding).
I have heard these spots called "capillary endings" as well.
posted by nursegracer at 3:28 PM on January 6, 2007

It most likely started off life as a capillary hemangioma (or cherry angioma like many have stated). After trauma, sometimes they can form pyogenic granulomas (aka lobular capillary hemangiomas - ignore the pregnancy tumor crap). They tend to ulcerate the skin surface and bleed like stink. I had one on my nasal septum for about 6 months that had to be scraped off. It wasn't pleasant.

These can be removed in any physician's office.
posted by i_am_a_Jedi at 5:45 PM on January 6, 2007

I have a few of these on my torso. Thanks for asking a question I've long wanted an answer to but never thought to ask!
posted by deborah at 3:18 PM on January 8, 2007

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