Angiokeratomas are small dark red to purple raised spots. They may also have a rough scaly surface. They are composed of superficial blood vessels (dilated capillaries). Often unnoticed, they may become crusty and bleed if accidentally scratched or damaged, or a harmless clot may form in the lesion (thrombosis), overnight changing the color to dark purple or black.
Apart from Fabry syndrome, which is caused by a genetic defect, the cause of other angiokeratomas is unknown.
Angiokeratomas are harmless surface vascular lesions that can usually be left alone. As the black spots sometimes resemble melanoma, a skin biopsy may be performed to rule out malignancy and allay any fears.
If bleeding becomes a concern or a treatment is requested for cosmetic purposes, they can be removed. Surgical options include excision, laser therapy, pulse dye laser, cryotherapy or electrocautery.
The pulsed dye laser is a device that produces a bright light that is absorbed by abnormal blood vessels, which are destroyed without damaging the surrounding skin. The laser uses yellow light, which is very safe and does not result in any long-term skin damage.
Cryotherapy refers to a treatment in which surface skin lesions are frozen, commonly used for a variety of benign and malignant lesions, for example cryotherapy is consider the best treatment for Warts, actinic keratosis,Seborrhic keratosis, and some Skin tags.
Used in dermatological procedures to stop bleeding (hemostasis) or to destroy abnormal skin growths like: Skin tags, Warts, Pyogenic granuloma.