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Spider angioma

Definition

Spider angioma is an abnormal collection of blood vessels near the surface of the skin.

Alternative Names

Nevus araneus, spider veins

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Spider angiomas are very common. They occur often in pregnant women and people with liver disease. They can appear both children and adults.

Symptoms

The main symptom is a blood vessel sore (lesion) that:

  • May have a red dot in the center
  • Has reddish extensions that reach out from the center
  • Disappears when pressed on then comes back when pressure is released
  • Is seen most often on the face and neck

Signs and tests

Most of the time you do need tests to diagnose the condition. A skin biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis in some cases. Blood tests may be done if a liver problem is suspected.

Treatment

Most of the time you do not need treatment. Electrocauterization or laser treatment may be used in some cases.

Expectations (prognosis)

Spider angiomas often disappear in children. They tend to last in adults.

Calling your health care provider

Let your doctor know if you have a new spider angioma so other related medical conditions can be ruled out.

References

Habif TP. Vascular tumors and malformations. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 23.

Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds.Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa:
Mosby Elsevier; 2012:chap 106.



 


Review Date: 11/20/2012
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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