Red Freckles

Red freckles are lesions that result from a concentrated, high number of dilated blood vessels found near the surface of the skin. Lesions refer to damaged or abnormal regions of tissues in the body. Red freckles occur when the number of endothelial cells lining the inner of the blood cells grows and they rapidly divide.

Red freckles have a range of colors from frequently bright red, or sometimes purple, bluish, brown and black. They are circular or oval shaped and are observed as small sized pinpoints to about an inch in diameter. Some red freckles appear smooth and even on your skin while others are slightly raised.  Although they appear as if they can burst with the slightest trauma or bleeding from the outer skin, they only bleed when the capillaries break. This happens if they are scratched, rubbed or cut open.

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Red freckles frequently occur on the torso or trunk and rarely on the hands and feet. These spots are also known to appear during pregnancy. Other common names for red freckles are cherry angiomas and Campbell de Morgan spots.

Causes of Red Freckles   

There are mainly two types of red freckles classified according to appearance such as leukocytoclastic vasculitis and Petachie or Petechial hemorrhages. Red freckles causes are not well understood but some triggers have been identified to make them prevalent.

Genetics: Genetic links have been made with the presence of microRNA 424 in the lesions. People who get red freckles also have many mast cells which are similar to white blood cells in function.

Allergies: Facial products including soap and makeup may inflame the skin causing an allergic reaction. Bright red freckles commonly known as leukocytoclastic vasculitis occur when blood capillaries are inflamed. This inflammation is normally because of infections, autoimmune responses in the body and some types of medications. When you apply slight pressure to them, they fade in color.

Medical conditions: conditions like seborrhea keratosis which is observed with wart like growths on the skin. An infected pore also called furuncle and a rare type of cancer, melanoma can also cause red freckles.

Sunspots: The other type of red freckles on the skin, Petachie occur on your skin when you expose the skin to too much sunlight and made worse with the exposure to heat. These spots also appear as red cherry like freckles that do not fade no matter the pressure you apply on them.

Age:  There appears to be a link between the occurrences of cherry angiomas and age because they often begin when individuals reach age 30. For example, the occurrence of Petachie increases with age and they grow more in middle age. A study also recorded that 75 percent of people over 75 have them. However, teenagers also suffer from the occurrence of this type of red freckles and therefore, a distinction based on age is largely difficult to make.

Other substances known to affect the occurrence of red freckles are chemical compounds such as mustard gas.

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When Red Freckles Can Be A Cause For Worry

When the cherry like spots either suddenly increase in number, color, shape, and size or become painful, itchy, and scaly, it is important to seek medical attention. These kinds of changes can be indicative of other serious conditions including cancer. However, cancer is mostly associated with the brown or black lesions that involve a large mass of blood referred to as a hemorrhage plug within a blood vessel.

When red freckles occur on the legs, you need to see a doctor because they can be a sign of:

  • Dengue Hemorrhage fever
  • Leukemia
  • Lupus
  • Meningo Coccernia
  • Hepatitis -C


How To Prevent Red Freckles

  • Wearing sun screen or using a hat when exposed to long hours of the sun.
  • Treating flare ups with products meant for acne
  • Use facial products and makeup that agree with your skin type.
  • See a dermatologist before trying to treat a freckle that appears on your face at home.


Apart from cases when there is need to rule out serious causes of red freckles, observation is usually the primary form of diagnosis. If the doctor suspects cancer, he/she may do a biopsy that involves examining a small sample of the area or the entire lesion.

Other tests carried out are platelets count, determining the bleeding and clotting time of bleeding angiomas, partial thromboplastin and INR tests.

Red Freckles – Treatment

Preferable treatment involves removing them because red freckles affect one’s appearance, bleed easily and are generally uncomfortable to have. It is, however, not recommended to try removing them at home because they can bleed profusely, or cause avoidable scarring. This results mainly from not using the right equipment or failing to sterilize it properly. Differential diagnosing is also important to rule out underlying causes.

Removal procedures include:

  • Electro cauterization which involves burning the angiomas by using an electric current delivered by a tiny probe while the rest of your body is grounded using a grounding pad.
  • Cryosurgery which involves freezing the angiomas with liquid nitrogen. It involves only one treatment session of spraying the nitrogen for ten seconds and the wound left behind does not require any after care.
  • Laser surgery involving the use of a pulsed laser dye to get rid of the cherry angioma using the heat to destroy the lesion. It can be done as an outpatient procedure and the number of sessions depends on the number of angiomas you have. It causes bruising that can last for ten days.
  • Shave excision which is a procedure that removes the angioma from the top portion of the skin. It is an alternative to invasive surgery that involves cutting out the lesion and using stitches or sutures to close the wound.
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