Overview of Spider Angioma
Spider angioma is so named because of its appearance: a central, red, elevated area with surrounding broken blood vessels radiating outward like a spider's legs. Many children and adults have a spider angioma.
Causes of Spider Angioma
Spider angiomas are associated with childhood, pregnancy, liver disease, birth control pills, and estrogen treatment. They may develop for unknown reasons as well.
Signs and Symptoms of Spider Angioma
Spider angiomas classically appear as small, centrally raised bumps (papules) caused by a dilated arteriole (small artery). A network of dilated capillaries (tiny blood vessels) radiate from the arteriole. Pressing on the lesion causes the redness to disappear briefly, and there is a rapid return of redness once the pressure is lifted.
Spider Angioma Diagnosis
Diagnosis of spider angioma is based on its appearance.
Treatment for Spider Angioma
It is not necessary to treat a spider angioma. If desired, it can be treated with electrocautery (a specialized instrument that cauterizes the vessel), laser, or injection of a solution that seals the vessel. It is common for a spider angioma to reappear after therapy. In that case, treatment can be repeated.
Prevention of Spider Angioma
No preventive measures are known.