What Does CMTC Look Like?
CMTC appears as a marble-like or lace-like pattern on the surface of the skin, called mottling. This pattern looks similar to mottling of the skin seen in young infants when they are cold. However, in children with CMTC, the marbling is typically darker. It is always visible, even when the child’s skin is warm.
CMTC can affect the arms, trunk and face, but most often occurs on the legs.
The marble-like skin pattern may involve large areas of the body (generalized CMTC, left). It may be limited to a certain part of the body (localized CMTC, right).
The marble-like pattern can appear more obvious with activity, crying, or when skin is exposed to the cold. There may also be slight depressions in the skin (fat atrophy). Bulging veins within the affected area are sometimes seen in individuals with CMTC.
How Is CMTC Diagnosed?
Physicians can recognize CMTC by the history and careful examination.
Diagnostic imaging tests may be advised if other concerns are suspected. These tests may include:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
What Are the Possible Complications of CMTC?
There are no major complications associated with CMTC skin lesions. Fat atrophy (dimpling of the skin) and ulceration of the skin could occur. However, CMTC may be linked with other conditions. Related problems are found in up to 50 percent of patients with CMTC. Reported issues associated with CMTC can include:
- Undergrowth or overgrowth of extremities with potential for limb length differences
- Body asymmetry (unevenness)
- Capillary malformations
- Macrocephaly (enlarged head size)
- Delayed development
- Congenital glaucoma (in those with facial involvement)
What Is the Management of CMTC?
Most patients with CMTC show slow but positive improvement with age. The most noticeable change occurs during the first year of life. Fading of the mottled skin pattern slows down after 1 year of age. Fading of the mottled skin continues as the skin matures and thickens into adulthood.
No special treatment for CMTC is needed. If there is a particular cosmetic concern after the skin lesion has faded, then laser therapy may be used.
Due to the potential of other concerns, careful evaluation and follow-up are important. Some infants may require consultations with other pediatric specialists.