The material appearing on is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Healthy Pixels LLC does not endorse and expressly disclaims liability for any product, service, manufacturer mentioned or advertised on this web site.

Not so sweet cherry angiomas

Living in Orange County, it’s standard procedure to study your skin for blemishes to avoid skin cancer as much as the scrutiny of the local ladies at the market. During my daily scan yesterday, I discovered not one but TWO red freckles on my forehead. As the world’s most obsessive health research nut, I rushed to the Internet for a new opportunity in self-diagnosis and treatment. Cherry angiomas are the most common name for these bright red devils. They increase with age (sigh) and can grow to one or two millimeters across or more. Unfortunately I’ve been living with another one on my forehead for years that has grown to three millimeters. They can be removed by cryosurgery, electrosurgery and laser treatment. I’m personally afraid of the ‘cry’ in cryosurgery. But more importantly, like other blemishes in our skin, these angiomas can reveal an underlying imbalance and possible threats from our lifestyle or environment.

While I haven’t been exposed to mustard gas, some of the other chemicals that cause angiomas include bromides and 2-butoxyethanol. Bromide is present in seawater as well as sea salt, which, like other health nuts, is the only salt I use on food. There are numerous toxic bromide compounds, so it’s really impossible to narrow that down. The solvent 2-butoxyethanol is a darker culprit. It is found in paint solvents, whiteboard cleaners, liquid soaps and – get this – the pungent ingredient in Windex! Three days ago I was exposed to fresh paint and solvents during our garage repair project. Coincidentally, a few months ago I started using Windex for kitchen cleanup after avoiding it for years. So if it was 2-butoxyethanol, how could it possibly lead to red freckles?

Our skin reveals so much about our internal toxicity. I’d like to believe I’m just showing my age, but a few studies have me thinking:

A recent study in November 2010 provides the most interesting clues of all.

Angiomas on infants – infantile hemangiomas – are the most common tumors of infancy. My oldest son was born with large, harmless infantile hemangiomas that slowly faded over a few months. Now, hypoxia (lack of oxygen) is considered the likely reason for these lesions. (Makes sense, as my son was two weeks overdue and endured 38 hours of labor!) So is hypoxia an underlying factor of angiomas in adults? Do compounds like 2-butoxyethanol and bromide reduce the oxygen levels in our blood and skin? This study in 2009 comes closer to connecting the dots between hypoxia, Windex, and the cancerous version of angioma – hemangiosarcoma.

So for now, no inhaling Windex, and start deep breathing! Stay tuned for juicy details on the depths of hypoxia…

1 comment to Not so sweet cherry angiomas

  • Thank you for your post. I have a hemangioma that started as a small red dot just above my upper lip, appearing just after giving birth in my 30’s. It grew larger over time and eventually I had several laser treatments for removal. But over 3-4 years it grew back much larger and lumpy too. Though it hasn’t changed much in the last few years, it is about 1/2 inch in diameter and naturally, I am reluctant to have it ever treated again. I call it my “birth mark” and take it as a sign of my motherhood. I have come to co-exist with it peacefully without much thought most of the time. I was surprised to read about the links to chemical exposure. My father was a commercial sign painter back before they used computers and printers. I grew up breathing his workshop as i watched him paint and clean brushes. I guess the red lumpy cluster above my lip is in someway a mark of my rights of passage.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>