Telangiectasias are small, widened blood vessels on the skin. They are usually harmless, but may be associated with several diseases.
Vascular ectasias; Spider angioma
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:
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if you notice enlarged vessels in the skin, mucous membranes, or eyes.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
The 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. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2016:chap 38.
Review Date: 4/16/2019
Reviewed By: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.