Merck Manual

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Nevus Araneus

(Spider Nevus; Spider Angioma; Vascular Spider)


Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine

Reviewed/Revised Jan 2022 | Modified Sep 2022
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Nevus araneus is a bright red, faintly pulsatile vascular lesion consisting of a central arteriole with slender projections resembling spider legs.

Nevus araneus lesions are acquired. One lesion or small numbers of lesions unrelated to internal disease may occur in children or adults. Patients with liver disease or cirrhosis Cirrhosis Cirrhosis is a late stage of hepatic fibrosis that has resulted in widespread distortion of normal hepatic architecture. Cirrhosis is characterized by regenerative nodules surrounded by dense... read more develop many spider angiomas that may become quite prominent. Many women develop lesions during pregnancy or while taking oral contraceptives.

The lesions are asymptomatic and usually resolve spontaneously about 6 to 9 months postpartum or after oral contraceptives are stopped. Lesions are not uncommon on the faces of children. Compression of the central vessel temporarily obliterates the lesion.

Diagnosis of Nevus Araneus

  • Clinical evaluation

Diagnosis of nevus araneus is clinical.

Treatment of Nevus Araneus

  • Usually unnecessary

Treatment of nevus araneus is not usually required.

If resolution is not spontaneous or treatment is desired for cosmetic purposes, the central arteriole can be destroyed with fine-needle electrodesiccation; vascular laser treatment may also be done.

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