A lot of people suffer from a skin condition that lets them have clusters of small bumps around their eyes and temples. This is known as syringoma. While syringoma is not a harmful condition, it does make people feel self-conscious.
Due to aesthetic purposes, a lot of people who have this condition opt to treat it. The good news here is that there are so many ways to treat it. There are various methods to remove this skin condition, some of which include laser removal or electrocautery treatments. Of course, there are also the non-invasive alternatives but we’ll go more into detail later on.
If you suffer from this condition or know someone who does, then take a look at our guide on the best removal treatments. We’ll share some information about the skin condition and then proceed to the methods.
Overview of the Syringoma
Before you treat syringoma, you must first know about it. Syringoma occurs when there are eccrine cells (cells that are connected to sweat glands) that appear in the body. What happens is that they cluster around certain areas which can lead to itchiness.
So how can you spot syringomas? Typically, syringomas are yellow or flesh-colored spots that are around 1/2 inches in diameter. The key takeaway in knowing whether a cluster of spots is syringomas is if they appear symmetrical. Therefore, if you have them on your right eye, you’ll surely have them on your left eye as well.
While syringomas are known to affect anyone from any ethnic group, they are more prevalent in Asian people and dark-skinned people. Women are also more likely to develop syringomas as compared to men.
Also, they frequently appear during puberty although they can still appear outside of puberty as well. For the most part, they affect the eyelids and cheeks but can appear on the other parts of the body as well.
We can actually liken a syringoma to a skin tag in a sense that it is also a skin tumor. That’s why another name for a syringoma is a sweat duct tumor. Do not worry though, because they are not associated with skin cancer. Rather, the cause seems to be more on genetics, but we’ll tackle that later.
Right now, the one thing that you need to remember is that they do not harm the skin nor do they present a sign of an underlying problem. They are usually treated due to aesthetic reasons.
The Causes of Syringoma
Now that you know more about the condition, let’s move on to the causes. We’ve already mentioned above that a primary cause of the condition is genetics. Another cause may be too much exercise since the skin condition is related to sweat glands. However, there is really no exact cause of the condition that we can pinpoint as of this moment. The only thing we know is that it happens when eccrine sweat glands pack together.
When they appear during the early stages of puberty, they usually appear gradually. They start off with just a few then eventually spread all around different parts of the body.
While this is the usual form that syringoma takes, there is another rarer type of syringoma known as the Generalized Eruptive Syringoma. Unlike the regular one, this form of syringoma appears all at once.
Now, it’s important to note that syringoma is actually related to many different conditions like Marfan’s syndrome, Down syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. If a patient happens to have any of these three syndromes, he or she will be more likely to have syringomas.
Going back to genetics, there are actually some studies that link syringomas to Chromosome 16q22 which can be passed from a parent to a child. However, this is not a concrete and concluded cause yet as there are many people with the chromosome who do not exhibit symptoms. Furthermore, there are only a few people with the chromosome who have been studied.
There is another rare type of syringoma known as the clear cell syringoma which is connected to Type 2 Diabetes. Only a dozen patients with this particular type have been reported around the world, making it a rather obscure type. However, you must take note that diabetes is very common on a global scale, so there may be many patients who could potentially have this type of syringoma.
The Differences Among Syringoma, Milia, and Skin Tags
On the outside, you may think that a syringoma can be a skin tag or milia because they pretty much all look the same. The only way to find out for sure is to have the skin condition formally diagnosed by a doctor. However, there are also some ways that you can spot the differences between the three. We’ll teach you how to differentiate them.
Let’s start with the milia. A milia is a type of skin condition that is caused by a buildup of keratin that’s stuck under the outer layer of the skin. It usually appears in groups and has a similar appearance to a syringoma. It also usually appears around the eyelids and cheeks and is often around 1/2 inches in size.
What makes a milia different is its color. While a syringoma is yellow or flesh-colored, a milia is usually white. Milias also don’t appear symmetrically. It’s possible to have a milia on your right eyelid but not on your left one.
On the other hand, a skin tag looks more bloated up than a milia or a syringoma. Skin tags are also longer in size and they tend to flap around. That’s something that you won’t see in a syringoma.
Of course, the best way to diagnose your skin condition is to simply pay a visit to your doctor. These are only home diagnosis techniques that can give you an idea of what your skin condition is. But your doctor needs to examine it properly so he or she can rule out other possible skin conditions like cysts and the like.
Common Locations Where Syringoma Appear
A while ago, we already mentioned that the most common places where syringoma appears are the eyelids and the cheeks. They will also appear on both sides since they are known for being symmetrical. But other than that, there are other less common but still common places that they appear in.
One other very common spot that they appear in is on the forehead. This may be a less common spot to appear in but there are many cases wherein they appear here. In fact, those who have syringoma around the eyes will have a high chance of getting syringoma on the forehead as well.
The face happens to be the most common part of the body where syringomas appear, but they also usually appear somewhere around the armpits and the upper chest area. These are the more obscure areas where they appear, but there have been cases that showcased these. Syringomas may also appear on the scalp but usually because of scarring due to alopecia. Again, these cases are also quite rare.
Some of the rarest cases involve syringomas appearing around the genital areas. There have been studies wherein a few cases showcased syringomas appearing around the vulva area.
The thing about syringomas is that they rarely appear in other parts of the body other than the eyelids and cheeks. Therefore, if they appear outside the face area, then this may be a different skin condition. Just because they resemble syringomas doesn’t mean that they are. In that situation, it’s better to have your doctor check the skin condition. But if the spots appear under the eyes or cheeks, you don’t have to worry too much.
Can Syringomas Go Away On Their Own?
This is a pretty interesting question that a lot of people have. Can syringomas just disappear on their own like acne or pimples? Unfortunately, they can’t because they aren’t caused by skin oils or dirt. There have been some cases wherein they do disappear over time but these are extremely rare cases.
That said, it’s really better if you remove syringomas through medical removal methods instead of waiting for them to fall off. The longer you wait, the higher the chances that the syringomas will spread. So it’s better to nip the problem in the bud.
The Best Syringoma Removal Methods
These days, there are so many ways to remove syringomas. The method you choose should be the one that suits you the best, and that’s why it’s always better to do your homework before doing anything. For this purpose, we’ll explain all the best methods below so you’ll know about each of them.
1. Electrocautery Treatment
First on the list is electrocauterization. This involves using an electric current to produce heat on a pen-like device that’s known as the electrocautery pen. At the tip of the pen, there is a metal wire where the electric heat goes to. The doctor will use the metal wire to electrocute the tissue that you want to take out. In this case, the doctor will aim the wire directly at your syringomas.
Fortunately, this treatment is considered very safe because the electric current doesn’t go to you. Rather, it just stays with the tissue area that you want taken out. Do take note that there will be a scar that’s left after the treatment but the mark will eventually disappear as time passes.
2. Surgical Procedure
Another way to remove syringomas is through surgical removal. This is usually done by a dermatologist. Usually, dermatologists will use a method that’s known as electrosurgery which uses current like electrocauterization. The main difference between the two methods is that electrosurgery aims the current directly at the spots themselves destroying them faster and more completely.
Probably the only disadvantage of this treatment is that you have to pay a hefty price to have it. That’s why a lot of patients choose other alternative methods. However, those who can afford this procedure will surely not regret it.
Dermabrasion is a method that makes use of a spinning wheel to “cut” out the spots and even out the skin. Although it may be an effective method, there are some safety issues regarding dermabrasion.
First of all, most syringomas appear under the eyes, so using a spinning wheel on areas near the eyes can be considered unsafe. Also, dermabrasion is rather painful as compared to the previously mentioned two methods.
4. Topical Medications
If you’re not comfortable going for cauterization or surgical procedures, you have the option to use topical creams or ointments. These include bichloroacetic acid. This acid turns the syringoma into a scab allowing it to fall off on its own after around two weeks.
It is a rather painful method and takes time. But if you don’t mind the burning sensation and if you’re okay with waiting for two weeks, this is a very safe method.
5. Laser Removal
Laser removal is another option that you can try out. This method is usually used for other skin conditions like warts and anything similar. So you can already tell that it can also be quite effective for syringomas. Also, it’s a very safe procedure that makes use of heat to melt the skin tissue. Due to the high heat, the wound will also be cauterized minimizing the chances of infection.
You also have the option of cryotherapy. Cryotherapy involves freezing the syringomas using liquid nitrogen. Through extreme cold temperatures, it is possible to kill the tissue by cutting off the blood flow. From there, the syringomas will eventually just fall off from being frostbitten. While it generally isn’t a painful procedure, you may experience some mild stinging after the treatment, but the discomfort will eventually go away after a few days.
7. Natural Methods
If you don’t want to go through all of these methods, then you may also consider some natural home remedies. While there haven’t been official studies that indicate their effectiveness, a lot of people swear by them. One of the most popular ones is using apple cider vinegar. The logic behind using apple cider vinegar is that you are using the acidic properties of the vinegar to dry off the skin and kill the spots.
Other home remedies include essential oils like tea tree oils. Just like apple cider vinegar, essential oils have a drying effect that can kill off some of the spots through extreme drying.
Tips on How to Cover Up Syringomas
Do take note that the abovementioned methods cost quite a bit of money, so it may take some time for you to save up for your surgery. So what can you do in the meantime? Well, you have the option to cover your syringomas. You can cover them with concealers. You just need to find the concealer that matches your skin tone and you can mask the spots easily.
Another way to cover up your syringomas is to use sunglasses. Since they usually appear under the eyes, your sunglasses can block them from view. Of course, you can only use this method during the day time and when you’re outside.
Can Syringomas Be Prevented?
While syringomas can be treated, there is no surefire way to prevent them from appearing. In fact, there is still a possibility for syringomas to appear even after you’ve already done a treatment procedure. The only thing you can do is try to spot them at their earlier stages so you’ll know how to prepare.
Also, it may help if you keep your face clean all the time. You may also use sunscreen when you go out to prevent any skin damage. Do take note that these are just basic skincare habits and not preventive measures. Keeping your skin healthy may be a good way to lessen the chances of getting syringomas but it is not a surefire method.
Does My Insurance Cover Surgery?
As we mentioned, surgical procedures tend to be really expensive, so you may be wondering if you can use your health insurance to cover it.
The bad news is that insurers don’t consider this surgery a medical procedure. Rather, it is a cosmetic treatment that’s not included in the coverage. If you want your insurer to cover this treatment, you’ll most likely have to get a different plan that covers it. In any case, you can speak with your insurance agency to find out which plans can cover this sort of treatment.
Just remember that a standard healthcare insurance plan does not come with cosmetic treatment coverage.