Información de la revista
Vol. 113. Núm. 6.
Páginas T640-T641 (junio 2022)
Descargar PDF
Más opciones de artículo
Vol. 113. Núm. 6.
Páginas T640-T641 (junio 2022)
Case and Research Letter
Open Access
[Translated article] Lip Papillomas in Cowden Disease: Carbon Dioxide Laser Vaporization
Papilomas labiales en la enfermedad de Cowden. Vaporización con láser de dióxido de carbono
J. del Pozo Losadaa,
Autor para correspondencia

Corresponding author.
, J.M. Barja Lópezb
a Servicio de Dermatología, CHU A Coruña, Spain
b Servicio de Dermatología, Hospital del Bierzo, Ponferrada, León, Spain
Contenido relaccionado
J. del Pozo Losada, J.M. Barja López
Este artículo ha recibido

Under a Creative Commons license
Información del artículo
Texto completo
Descargar PDF
Figuras (2)
Texto completo
To the Editor,

Cowden disease is currently included in PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome, which includes a number of diseases linked to germinal mutations of the PTEN gene.1

It is an autosomal dominant hereditary process characterized by the presence of malignant tumors in different organs (especially breast, thyroid, and endometrium) and benign proliferations in many tissues (skin, colon, thyroid, etc.).

Almost all of these patients present skin lesions, which include facial trichilemmomas, papillomatous lesions, especially in the oral and labial mucosa, acral keratosis on the palms and soles, sclerotic fibromas, lipomas, mucocutaneous neuromas, inverted follicular keratosis.2

We report a patient with Cowden disease with papillomatous lesions on the upper lip, which were treated with CO2 laser with excellent results.

A 26-year-old woman diagnosed with Cowden disease presented with hyperkeratotic lesions on the upper lip, which had grown progressively in the previous years (Fig. 1). The lesions caused discomfort due to chapping of the lips and a considerable cosmetic impact.

Figure 1.

Hyperkeratotic lesions with a verrucous appearance on the upper lip.


A detailed clinical examination revealed that the patient presented acral keratosis and macrocephaly. She presented no other facial or oral lesions. The genetic study revealed a nonsense heterozygous mutation on exon 5 of the PTEN gene (p.R130X). The genetic study performed on the parents was negative.

By agreement with the patient and following the provision of signed informed consent, treatment with CO2 laser was performed.

After applying an antiseptic solution of chlorhexidine, a local anesthetic was injected (mepivacaine, 2% without epinephrine) and treatment with the CO2 laser began (SE-20-30 W Franckline, Intermedic, Barcelona, Spain). Treatment was performed in superpulse mode at 5W/cm2, initially focused to eliminate the keratotic component. The vaporized tissue was removed using a dressing impregnated with saline solution and the laser was passed over the area again in a more defocused manner. Bleeding of the lesion was minimal and was brought under control with the second pass of the laser. The area was treated with a mupirocin antibiotic ointment and a nonadhesive occlusive dressing.

The patient was evaluated after 2 weeks, when scarring is complete, and, later, after 3 months. The cosmetic result obtained was excellent (Fig. 2), with no abnormal texture or pigmentation, and the lesions had not returned after 5 years of follow-up.

Figure 2.

Excellent cosmetic result after treatment with CO2 laser.


The mucocutaneous manifestations of Cowden disease normally lead to diagnosis and are present in 99% of patients.3

Some of these lesions are considered pathognomonic and form part of the major criteria of the disease, such as facial trichilemmoma, acral keratosis, and papillomatous lesions.

The papillomatous lesions tend to be located oral cavity, on the lips, tongue, oral and gingival mucosa, and in just a few extreme cases, they are severe enough to produce oral florid papillomatosis.4 They generally present in the second decade of life and are asymptomatic and progress slowly. Presentation exclusively as labial lesions is rare.

These lesions are not only present in Cowden disease but are also presented in the entire spectrum of syndromes associated with PTEN mutations.1 Moreover, several entities may present similar lesions, including linear epidermal nevus, nevus sebaceous syndrome, focal dermal hypoplasia, ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia clefting syndrome, Costello syndrome, and acanthosis nigricans.5

The reason for treating these lesions is cosmetic and, in some cases, when they are notable for producing cracked lips and secondary superinfection.

Surgical treatment may be a therapeutic option in these patients, where a vermilionectomy might perhaps be performed, although this is probably an excessively aggressive approach.

We believe that CO2 laser is a simple and easy-to-use option with little morbidity, few adverse effects, easily repeatable in the event of recurrence, and with excellent functional and cosmetic effects. To obtain a good cosmetic result and avoid adverse effects, predominantly ablative modes of treatment should be used with minimal heating; for this reason, we used the superpulse mode.

CO2 laser has been described for the treatment of trichilemmoma associated with Cowden disease,6 but we have found no references associated with labial papilloma.

In conclusion, CO2 laser ablation is an excellent therapeutic option in labial papilloma associated with Cowden disease, with excellent cosmetic results and with no notable adverse effects.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

R. Pilarski.
PTEN hamartoma tumor syndrome: a clinical overview.
Cancers (Basel), 11 (2019), pp. 844
A. Larumbe, M. Iglesias, J. Illaramendi, A. Cordoba, M. Gallego.
Queratosis acras y queratosis folicular invertida como manifestación de la enfermedad de Cowden.
Actas Dermosifiliogr, 98 (2007), pp. 425-429
O.S. Salem, W.D. Steck.
Cowden's disease (multiple hamartoma and neoplasia syndrome).
J Am Acad Dermatol, 8 (1983), pp. 686-696
R.A. Machado, L.M.R. Paranaíba, L. Martins, M.R. Melo-Filho, T.T. de Souza, B.L.S. Picciani, et al.
Variable expressivity and novel PTEN mutations in Cowden syndrome.
Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol, 127 (2019), pp. 55-61
G.N. Mainville.
Non-HPV papillary lesions of the oral mucosa: clinical and histopathologic features of reactive and neoplastic conditions.
Head Neck Pathol, 13 (2019), pp. 71-79
I.K. Chang, Y. Lee, K.J. Seo, C.D. Kim, J.H. Lee, M. Im.
Treatment of multiple trichilemmomas with the pihhole method using a carbon dioxide laser in a patient with Cowden síndrome.
Dermatol Ther, 28 (2015), pp. 71-73
Copyright © 2021. AEDV
Actas Dermo-Sifiliográficas
Opciones de artículo
es en

¿Es usted profesional sanitario apto para prescribir o dispensar medicamentos?

Are you a health professional able to prescribe or dispense drugs?