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children angiomas

Spider angioma in children

It is more common among children but it may appear on adults, too.

Spider Angioma

A spider angioma is an enlarged little artery, which resembles the body of a spider, from which smaller blood vessels are filled, which resemble the spider’s legs.

The cause of spider angiomas is not known. The vast majority affect healthy people, and most only have one spider angioma or a just a few. Despite the fact that spider angiomas can develop at any age, they are more common among children.

Spider angiomas are not hereditary. Diagnosis is based on their characteristic appearance. Apart from their appearance on the skin, spider angiomas are usually not related to other symptoms. In rare cases bleeding may occur if the spider angioma is picked or scratched.

Long-pulse Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) is the treatment of choice (595 nm)

Other vascular tumours

Kasabach – Merritt syndrome

It occurs in infants around the second month of life (at 7 weeks) and it is a rapidly growing vascular lump.

Tufted angioma

This is a rare benign tumour, which appears during infancy or early childhood, usually by the end of the first year of life. It usually occurs on the neck or upper torso as a red spot, which develops into a darker in colour nodule or plate, and its size increases slowly over time.

Kaposiform hemangioendothelioma

This is a rare tumour that occurs in babies and young children. It may appear as a multi-nodular mass of soft tissue, as a red spot or as multiple telangiectatic papules.


Angeiokeratomas are hyperkeratotic, asymptomatic, erythematous vascular type lesions and there are several different types of angiokeratomas. Some of the angiokeratomas that may occur in infants and children are briefly discussed below.

Angiokeratoma circumscriptum is a rare lesion present at birth. It appears as a hyperkeratotic vascular plaque of blue or black colour, and usually it occurs on the legs.

Angiokeratoma Mibelli occurs in children and young adolescents between the ages of 10 and 14 years. Initially it is bright sigmoidal red spots. It is an inherited in an autosomal pattern and usually there is a history of chilblains, although environmental influences have not been ruled out completely.

Solitary papular angiokeratoma is a wart-like, asymptomatic papule, which usually occurs on the legs and it has dark blue to black colour. Children may have this condition from the age of 10 years, but it may also occur in adults up to the age of 40 years old, while it is usually caused by an injury.

About the author:

Christofer Tzermias

Specialised in the UK (Oxford & London) and in North America (New York & San Diego) in the field of LASER Dermatology, Dr Tzermias, has been providing dermatological state-of-the-art treatments using cutting-edge LASER and Energy based Devices for over 20 years. He has been Director of Interventional and LASER Dermatology Department at the Athens Medical Center for over 18 years and for the last 9 years is the Scientific Director of IQ - Intensive Quality Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Clinics, which at the 2017 Healthcare Awards won the ‘Innovation Award for Innovative Services’ for their pioneering contributions. Since 2018, IQ Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery Clinics has also been operating in London, UK and in Muscat, Oman. Dr Tzermias is a Fellow of the world-renowned American Society for LASER Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), a Founder Member of the European Society LASER Dermatology (ESLD), the Vice President of the ‘Open Health Alliance’ and he is also on the Board of Directors of Elitour - Greek Medical Tourism Council.

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