Merck Manual

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Quick Facts

Spider Angiomas

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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What is a spider angioma?

A spider angioma is a small, bright-red spot on the skin that's surrounded by thin red lines. These lines may look a little bit like a tiny spider, which is how it gets its name. It's not caused by spiders.

  • Spider angiomas are tiny blood vessels that have grown larger than normal

  • They are harmless and don't hurt or itch

  • You aren't born with spider angiomas—they show up later

  • They usually go away on their own, but doctors can remove them with a laser or electric needle

What causes spider angiomas?

The cause of spider angiomas isn’t known, but some people are more likely to get them:

  • People with a liver disease such as cirrhosis

  • Women who are pregnant or who take birth control pills

Spider angiomas on the face are common in fair-skinned people.

How do doctors treat spider angiomas?

Usually no treatment is needed.

Spider angiomas that appear during pregnancy or while using birth control pills usually go away on their own about a year after you give birth or stop taking the pills.

Doctors can remove spider angiomas with a laser or electric needle.

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