Reference Index - Disease & Conditions

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Circulatory system
Circulatory system


Spider angioma

Definition:

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



Alternative Names:

Nevus araneus



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Spider angiomas are very common. They are especially common during pregnancy and in patients with liver disease. They occur in both children and adults.



Symptoms:
  • Blood vessel sore (lesion)
    • May have a red dot in the center
    • Has reddish extensions that reach out from the center
    • Disappears with pressure and reappears when pressure is released
  • Most often seen on the face and neck


Signs and tests:

No testing is usually necessary, but 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:

Treatment is generally not necessary. In some cases, electrocauterization or laser treatment may be used.



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Spider angiomas often disappear in children but tend to persist in adults.



Complications:



Calling your health care provider:

A spider angioma can usually be examined during a routine visit with your health care provider. It is important to mention to your doctor if you develop a new spider angioma, to rule out related medical conditions.



Prevention:




Review Date: 10/3/2008
Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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