At the Mayo Clinic 711 children, ranging in age from birth to 15 years, were examined for the presence of spider nevi. The children were divided into three groups: normal controls, patients with chronic illness and patients with disease of the central nervous system. In the normal children, the incidence of spider nevi increased rapidly after 2 years of age to reach a plateau at about the time of puberty for both sexes. In children more than 13 years of age the incidence appeared to be decreasing, presumably toward the stated incidence of 12 to 15% in so-called normal adults. In normal children, spider nevi appeared to occur more frequently in pubertal females than in pubertal males. The incidence was increased in both sexes in patients more than 4 years of age with disease of the central nervous system. In patients with chronic illnesses, there was no significant increase in spider nevi, but the ratio of pubertal females to pubertal males was reversed. The anatomic distribution in all groups differed from that of adults, the dorsum of the hands and forearms being the sites of predilection in children. In view of the frequency of these lesions in childhood, it appears that the presence of spider nevi in otherwise healthy children is an insignificant stigma.

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