Lymphangioma circumscriptum is somewhat of a misnomer because this skin condition is not a true tumor rather it is a congenital malformation of the superficial lymphatics. The lymphatic vessels become blocked causing a backup of lymph into small pockets. They are often noted to have a frogspawn appearance. These groups of vesicles are found most commonly on the abdomen, axillae (armpit), and mouth. Lymphangioma circumscriptum found in the mouth is typically located on the tongue.
As stated above these malformations cause cyst-like lesions due to lymph backup into small pockets, giving them a yellow appearance. If blood is present in the lesion it will appear red or pink. The papules can look like warts, especially when located on the palms and soles.
The diagnosis of lymphangioma circumscriptum is made by inspection. This condition can be associated with deeper lymphatic malformations in the subcutaneous tissues and muscles. The deeper malformations should be evaluated with an MRI or other radiologic imaging.
Lymphangioma circumscriptum is a benign condition so treatment is not required. However, it is often bothersome so the vesicles are surgically removed. Drainage of the cysts is a possible treatment but does not have lasting effects. Several procedures can be used to remove the lesions such as dermabrasion and laser therapy. If there is no deeper malformation, then these treatments provide an excellent prognosis.
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