Ask Marilyn – Star Question: I am concerned about the red spots that have been appearing all over my body. What are they and can I cure them?

Q: I have re-subscribed to your magazine and have just received my copy, which I have found very, very interesting as usual. When I came to your Ask Marilyn section I thought that I’d contact you to see if you could answer this question, which has been concerning me for a while.

I am 63 and have been getting many, many moles appearing on my skin, but I am most concerned about the many red spots that are also appearing all over my body. Some are not very big, just like pin head size, and others are about a quarter of an inch wide; some are flat to the skin, but most are slightly raised and hard. All of them are bright red. I have been monitoring them and they do not go away. I am most conscious about the ones on my neck and chest, although I can disguise these a little with make up. Is there anything that I can do to get rid of them? My diet is very good and I always buy organic foods where possible and only use natural soaps and body lotions that do not contain any nasties, and I drink mainly green tea. 


Obviously the moles are an age related problem, but what are these hard red spots and can I cure them?



A: With any moles or unusual spots appearing on the skin it is always important to have them seen by your doctor who may refer you to a dermatologist for a check up.


It is likely, however, that the red spots are something called cherry angiomas, which are broken blood capillaries that are visible on the skin. They are more common as we get older because the skin isn’t as strong because it has lost collagen and the capillaries can become more fragile. These cherry angiomas can bleed if injured because the blood vessels are so close to the surface.


Medically there is no known cause for cherry angiomas and no real research into the problem because they are usually harmless. They can be treated by using Intense Pulsed Light or lasers. 


Nutritionally my approach would be to work on strengthening the capillaries and improving the manufacture of collagen. There’s a class of antioxidants (called flavonoids, of which more than 4,000 have been characterized) and two of them are especially important for you. These are the bioflavonoids and the proanthocyanidins.


The bioflavonoids are closely associated with vitamin C and are found in citrus fruits.  They are excellent at strengthening capillaries and also help to preserve collagen, which can so easily be damaged by free radicals. Proanthocyanidins are the flavonoids which give the deep colour to many berries such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.  They are excellent ‘free radical scavengers’ so, like bioflavonoids, they help to slow down the ageing process and also help to preserve the integrity of capillaries. They also strengthen the collagen matrix and stop the destruction of collagen, which is not only important for our skin but also for our bone health and the prevention of osteoporosis. 


So make sure you eat a good amount of fruits, especially berries, and take a supplement of vitamin C containing bioflavonoids (500mg twice a day). You can also get the proanthocyanidins as freeze dried berries in a concentrated form (see the Resources Page). But do make sure you see your doctor to get the all clear on both the moles and the cherry angiomas.

Comments are closed.