Merck Manual

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Lymphangiomas

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision May 2020| Content last modified May 2020
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What are lymphangiomas?

Lymphangiomas are bumps in the skin filled with a clear or blood-tinged fluid. They are caused by overgrown lymph vessels. Lymph vessels transport lymph throughout the body. Lymph is a clear fluid containing white blood cells that help the body fight infection.

  • Lymphangiomas are uncommon

  • They usually show up between birth and age 2

  • They aren’t cancerous

What are the symptoms of lymphangiomas?

  • Can appear as tiny bumps or as large growths that misshape the body

  • Are mostly yellowish tan in color, but a few are reddish or purple

  • Don’t itch or hurt

  • Let out a clear or pinkish liquid if broken open

How do doctors treat lymphangiomas?

Lymphangiomas don’t usually need treatment.

Surgery to remove a lymphangioma isn’t recommended. Lymphangiomas grow deep and wide below the skin, and they tend to grow back after surgery.

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