Vascular ectasias; Spider angioma
Telangiectasias are small, widened blood vessels on the skin. They are usually harmless, but may be associated with several diseases.
Telangiectasias may develop anywhere within the body. But they are most easily seen on the skin, mucous membranes, and whites of the eyes. Usually, they do not cause symptoms. Some telangiectasias bleed and cause significant problems. Telangiectasias may also occur in the brain or intestines and cause major problems from bleeding.
Causes may include:
Diseases associated with this condition include:
Call your health care provider if you notice enlarged vessels in the skin, mucous membranes, or eyes.
Your provider will perform a physical exam and ask about your symptoms, including:
Tests may be needed to diagnose or rule out a medical condition. Tests may include:
Sclerotherapy is the treatment for telangiectasias on the legs. In this procedure, a saline (salt) solution or other chemical is injected directly into the spider veins on the legs. Laser treatment is typically used to treat telangiectasias of the face.
Kelly R, Baker C. Other vascular disorders. In: Bolognia JL, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L, eds. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 106.
Patterson JW. Vascular tumors. In: Patterson JW, ed. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Limited; 2021:chap 39.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 6/7/2023
Reviewed By: Elika Hoss, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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