One of the most visible signs of liver cirrhosis is spider veins or blood vessels, which appear when an artery surrounded by smaller vessels is affected by liver damage. Spider veins can also develop for other, less serious reasons, however. When caused by liver cirrhosis, a sudden increase of the hormone estradiol causes the vessels to expand and become visible below the skin. Spider veins are more common in individuals with alcohol-related liver cirrhosis than in those with cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C or B.
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