A spider nevus is a new formation of blood vessels on the skin. The disease is relatively common. The optical changes are usually clearly visible because the arterial vessels in the skin expand. It is also possible that the spider nevus occurs in some of the affected patients as a so-called liver skin sign. As such, it develops in the context of chronic diseases of the liver.
What is spider nevus?
The spider nevus is synonymously referred to by some doctors as a spider nevus, nevus araneus, star nevus or vascular spider. As part of the disease, new arterial vessels form on the skin, which are benign in the majority of cases. The starting point of the phenomenon is usually raised nodes of vessels. For definition of copper poisoning in English, please visit acronymmonster.com.
From these centers of vascular formation, delicate spurs branch out into the surrounding areas of the skin. This usually results in a pattern that appears star-shaped or reminiscent of a spider’s web. The common disease term spider nevus is derived from this. If pressure is applied to the nevus, the thin extensions are temporarily not visible. However, the central vessel does not disappear, but always has a reddish color.
The causes of the formation of a spider nevus are different, but in most cases it is a question of benign changes in the arterial vessels of the skin. In many patients, spider nevus develops in the upper half of the body. The neck and face area as well as the hands are particularly affected by the changes.
A spider nevus is often associated with telangiectasia and is an expression of this disease. In many cases, spider nevi develop in childhood patients and are then usually without an identifiable cause. In some cases, the development of a spider nevus is related to an existing pregnancy. In addition, the changes in the skin vessels may also show up in patients who take hormonal contraceptives.
Spider nevi are sometimes favored by excessive exposure to the sun, as a result of which the skin is chronically damaged. Some of the patients have serious causes for the development of a spider nevus. The skin changes are partly formed in connection with diseases of the liver. It is possible here, for example, for a spider nevus to appear as a side effect of cirrhosis of the liver.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
The appearance of a spider nevus can be distinguished relatively clearly from other changes on the skin. The phenomenon is primarily characterized by the spider web-like pattern that it forms on the affected patient’s skin. There is usually a central vessel that is usually red in color.
Starting from this main vessel, numerous small branch vessels meander into the surrounding area. The branches become thinner with increasing distance from the central vessel. Basically, it is a matter of so-called telangiectasia of the capillary skin vessels. The further away they are from the main vessel, the more they fade.
In numerous cases, the spider nevi can be found in the neck, on the chest wall or in the face area. Here they appear mainly on the forehead. A spider nevus may be an expression of an underlying disease and in such a case may make it easier to diagnose.
For example, spider nevi develop in connection with Osler’s disease, pregnancy or chronic hepatitis. In principle, spider nevi also occur in healthy people. Only in some cases is the spider nevus an indication of the existence of a triggering underlying disease.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The spider nevus is usually diagnosed relatively quickly and easily based on its typical appearance. Nevertheless, the diagnosis follows the standard procedure, so that an anamnesis takes place at the beginning. Here the respective patient describes his symptoms and any known factors relevant to their development. In addition, the sick person explains their lifestyle, which may enable the doctor to better classify the symptoms.
The physical examination consists in the fact that the attending physician examines the affected areas of the skin with a special magnifying glass. However, since the appearance of the spider nevus does not reveal anything about its cause, further investigations are usually necessary to rule out or diagnose potential underlying diseases.
In most cases, those affected by spider nevus suffer from skin problems. These complaints can lead to significantly reduced aesthetics for the patient. Inferiority complexes or reduced self-esteem often occur here, so that the patients are ashamed of the symptoms and feel uncomfortable with them. This can sometimes promote depression or other mental upsets.
The symptoms can be very uncomfortable, especially on the face. However, the spider nevus does not always indicate another disease. Nevertheless, if these symptoms occur, a medical examination should be carried out in order to avoid further complications. The treatment of this disease takes place without complications with the help of laser therapy. This means that the skin complaints can be limited and treated relatively well.
However, if the spider nevus is triggered by another underlying disease, this usually also needs to be treated. Most often with this disease there is no reduction in the life expectancy of the patient. However, the symptoms can reappear even after the treatment. Those affected need to be treated again.
When should you go to the doctor?
A spider nevus should always be examined and treated by a doctor. Since this disease cannot heal itself, the affected person is always dependent on treatment. This is the only way to prevent further complications. The sooner the doctor is consulted for a spider nevus, the better the further course of the disease.
A doctor should be consulted if there are complaints on the skin that do not go away on their own and last for a longer period of time. This forms spider web-like patterns, which can significantly reduce the aesthetics of those affected. In most cases, the spots do not cover the entire body, but only individual areas. If these symptoms occur over a longer period of time, a doctor must be consulted in any case.
As a rule, a spider nevus can be treated by a dermatologist or a general practitioner. There are no particular complications and usually a positive course of the disease.
Treatment & Therapy
Apart from the possible underlying diseases that need to be treated urgently, the spider nevus itself is primarily a cosmetic blemish. As such, it can be treated and eliminated using various methods. Laser therapy is usually the first choice to make the spider nevus fade or disappear completely. However, the search for the triggering factors should not be neglected.
When removing the spider nevus using laser treatment, a so-called deep laser is used in many cases. The dilated arterial skin vessels are strongly heated. As a result, the spider nevus gradually fades, and it may take several sessions for complete elimination. The results satisfy the majority of patients.
Spider nevus is generally difficult to prevent because it is either idiopathic or caused by a variety of underlying diseases. Targeted measures to prevent the formation of new arterial skin vessels are therefore as good as impractical.
A spider naevus does not require any special aftercare. It is a harmless skin lesion that occurs as part of chronic liver disease. After a cosmetic procedure, the patient usually has to spend a few more days in the clinic. Once the surgical wound has healed, you can leave the hospital.
Painkillers are sometimes prescribed as part of the aftercare. There will also be a meeting with the doctor to discuss how to proceed. Several sessions may be necessary to completely remove the skin change. The actual aftercare usually only includes a final discussion with the doctor, in which open questions from the patient are clarified. Should a spider naevus form again after recovery, the doctor must be consulted in any case.
If necessary, a therapist can be called in to give the patient further advice. Psychological care is particularly useful in the case of psychological complaints due to the skin changes. The doctor in charge can put you in touch with a suitable therapist. Aftercare for spider naevus is carried out by the chief physician in the clinic or by the internist who is already treating the liver disease. If the liver disease has healed, the family doctor can take over the aftercare.
You can do that yourself
The disease is accompanied by an optical defect. For this reason, building and promoting self-confidence is particularly important. In everyday life, feelings of shame or fear should be overcome. If this does not succeed to a sufficient extent, therapeutic help must be sought.
Dealing openly with the disease and educating people from social life about the peculiarities of the skin helps to reduce unpleasant looks or questions to a minimum. Wearing certain items of clothing or accessories is often enough to adequately cover the affected parts of the body. The focus is on promoting well-being and joie de vivre. The changes in the skin’s appearance should not determine life as a whole. Mental stability is particularly important to avoid subsequent psychological disorders. Even if negative thoughts arise, it is important to ensure that no ruminations or other mentally stressful situations arise.
To avoid complications or deterioration of the skin’s appearance, cosmetic items should only be used in consultation with the doctor treating you. The ingredients and active ingredients must be checked for the needs of the organism before use. If unpleasant situations or insults arise in everyday life, these should be discussed with other people.