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Spider Angiomas - When Are They a Cause For Concern?

 Your skin can reveal a lot about your health. In some cases, it can even point to a serious health issue. If you ever notice several clusters of tiny blood vessels suddenly appear on your face, you could be suffering from liver disease. Even though a single cluster like this - called a spider angioma in medicine - usually isn’t a cause for concern, multiple spider angiomas are indicative of chronic liver disease in 95 percent of cases, states a recent study.

What are spider angiomas?

Spider Angioma woman examining face

Spider angiomas, also known under the names spider nevus and spider veins, are often a sign of chronic liver problems, especially alcohol-related liver cirrhosis. These skin imperfections are usually found on the face, neck, chest, and arms. They resemble spider-like clusters of small blood vessels, often with a central red spot in the middle. The color of the blood vessels varies from red to blue and purple.

Pressing on a spider angioma with your finger will make it disappear, but releasing your finger and restoring the blood supply to the area will make the angioma reappear. Spider veins are usually painless to the touch.


The causes of spider angioma

Spider Angioma examples

While multiple spider angiomas can point to a variety of dangerous health concerns, including liver disease, rheumatoid arthritis, hormonal problems, and skin cancer, a singular spider nevus isn’t a cause for concern on its own. This is because skin injuries, excessive sun exposure, and even pregnancy are all common causes of spider angiomas as well.

If you notice a singular spider angioma in a child, pregnant woman, or healthy adult, the chances of it being caused by a serious underlying condition are minimal and you shouldn’t be concerned. If you have a spider angioma, it will be a relief to know that these skin imperfections are usually benign and do not require any treatment.

The takeaway message is - be mindful of these skin imperfections and seek medical help if you experience other alarming symptoms, such as fatigue, bloating, or yellow skin or eyes. To learn more about the signs of liver disease, read this article - 9 Silent Symptoms of Liver Disease You Have to Know.

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