Spider Angiomas (Spider Veins)

What Are Spider Angiomas?

Spider angiomas – also called spider veins, spider nevus, or nevus araneus – are red spots on the skin. It occurs when a small cluster of blood vessels comes to the skin's surface of the skin. The blood vessels may branch out, giving the spot a spider-like appearance.

Your child may be born with these marks, or they may appear later in childhood.

They don't cause any symptoms or require treatment unless your child feels anxious about them.


What causes spider veins?

Doctors don't know what causes spider veins in most people.

If your child has many angiomas, it could be a sign of liver or thyroid disease or a change in hormones.

It's rare that a spider angioma is a sign of a more serious problem in children.

Symptoms & Diagnosis

What are the symptoms of spider angiomas?

Your child shouldn't have any symptoms of spider veins beyond the red spots on their skin.

They're most visible on the face but can also occur on the:

  • Neck
  • Arms
  • Fingers
  • Hands
  • Trunk

Spider angiomas may get bigger over time if the blood vessels causing the spots enlarge and draw in more blood vessels.

How do doctors diagnose spider veins?

A doctor can diagnose your child's spider angioma based on how it looks.


Spider Angioma Treatment

Most angiomas don't need treatment unless they bother or embarrass your child.

If you do decide to get treatment for your child's spider veins, we use a pulsed dye laser treatment.

During this outpatient treatment, your child's doctor will focus a bright laser light on the spot to remove it. It feels a little like snapping a rubber band on the skin. It's more startling than painful.

Depending on your child's age and the size of the angioma, we may rub a numbing cream over the spot. Or we may give them general anesthesia so they'll sleep through the treatment.

Doctors often can complete your child's spider angioma laser treatment in one office visit.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with the Division of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, call 412-692-8650. Online scheduling is also available for both in-person and video visits.