Spider angiomaNevus araneus; Spider telangiectasia; Vascular spider; Spider nevus; Arterial spiders
Spider angioma is an abnormal collection of blood vessels near the surface of the skin.
Spider angiomas are very common. They often occur in pregnant women and in people with liver disease. They can appear in both children and adults. They get their name from an appearance similar to a red spider.
They appear most often on the face, neck, upper part of the trunk, arms, and fingers.
The main symptom is a blood vessel spot that:
- May have a red dot in the center
- Has reddish extensions that reach out from the center
- Disappears when pressed on and comes back when pressure is released
In rare cases, bleeding occurs in a spider angioma.
Exams and Tests
The health care provider will examine the spider angioma on your skin. You may be asked if you have any other symptoms.
Most of the time, you do not need tests to diagnose the condition. But sometimes, a skin biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis. Blood tests may be done if a liver problem is suspected.
A skin lesion biopsy is when a small amount of skin is removed so it can be examined. The skin is tested to look for skin conditions or diseases. A...
Spider angiomas usually do not need treatment, but burning (electrocautery) or laser treatment is sometimes done.
Electrocauterization is the process of heating tissue with electricity.
Spider angiomas in children may disappear after puberty, and often disappear after a woman gives birth. Untreated, spider angiomas tend to last in adults.
Treatment is often successful.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Let your provider know if you have a new spider angioma so that other related medical conditions can be ruled out.
Dinulos JGH. Vascular tumors and malformations. In: Dinulos JGH, ed. Habif's Clinical Dermatology. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 23.
Martin KL. Vascular disorders. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS. Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 669.
Circulatory system - illustration
Blood used by the body is brought back to the heart and lungs by the veins of the body. Once the blood has gathered more oxygen from the lungs, it is pumped back out to the body through the arteries.
Review Date: 11/10/2020
Reviewed By: Ramin Fathi, MD, FAAD, Director, Phoenix Surgical Dermatology Group, Phoenix, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.