LifestyleRed spots on skin: Potential liver disease warning signs

Red spots on skin: Potential liver disease warning signs

What do "liver tears" look like and are they dangerous?
What do "liver tears" look like and are they dangerous?
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26 June 2024 13:51

Red spots on the body, resembling tiny rubies, are not merely an aesthetic defect. They can signal serious health problems, including liver diseases. What should you know about these changes, commonly called "liver tears"?

Red spots, also known as cherry angiomas, De Morgan spots, or senile angiomas, are small, raised skin changes that are red, maroon, or purple in colour. They most often appear on the torso, arms, and hands. Their diameter usually does not exceed a few millimetres (around 0.1 cm). Although they are generally harmless, they can indicate health issues, including liver diseases.

Another common term for red spots is "liver tears." They most frequently appear in women over the age of 40, though they can also appear in men. Though they are often associated with the activity of female sex hormones, they can also occur in men.

Red spots and liver diseases

The liver performs several vital bodily functions, including detoxifying the blood, producing bile, and storing energy. Various symptoms can appear when its function is disrupted, including skin changes like red spots.

"Liver tears" are often associated with diseases such as liver cirrhosis, fatty liver, or hepatitis. The mechanism of their formation is not fully understood, but it is believed to be linked to hormonal and vascular disorders that accompany liver diseases.

Other causes of red spots

Besides liver diseases, red spots can also be caused by age, genetics, sun exposure, hormonal changes, and certain medications like bromocriptine.

Diagnosis and treatment

If you notice red spots on your skin, it is worth consulting a doctor, especially if they appear suddenly or in large numbers. The doctor will conduct an interview and physical examination and, if necessary, order additional tests such as liver function tests, abdominal ultrasound, or liver biopsy.

The treatment of red spots depends on their cause. If the underlying condition is related to liver disease, it is necessary to treat it. In the case of changes of an aesthetic nature, their removal can be considered using laser therapy, electrocautery, or cryotherapy.

Even though they are usually harmless, red spots can signal serious health problems, such as liver diseases. Therefore, if you notice these changes in your skin, you must consult a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the development of serious complications.

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