Syringomas are a benign skin condition, but they may make you feel self-conscious. They typically cluster around the eyes and temples and are easy recognize.
The first thing you should know, though, is that they are completely harmless. The purpose of treating syringoma is related solely to appearance.
If you are looking for ways to remove your syringoma spots to feel better about your appearance, there are many ways of doing so. Methods such as electrocautery treatment and laser removal can be performed by a doctor. There are also over-the-counter (OTC) alternatives.
So, if you want to know how to get rid of syringoma, welcome to our guide on the best removal treatments. We’ll start off by telling you a bit more about this common skin condition.
What is a Syringoma?
A syringoma is a skin condition which affects what are called ‘eccrine cells.’ These cells are related to the sweat glands and are present throughout the body. They are only rarely associated with any other condition or symptom, other than itchiness.
Syringomas are small, skin-colored or yellow spots. They are typically between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch wide, so are not large. However, these spots do appear in groups, which are often symmetrical. That means that if you have them under your right eye, you will have them under your left eye, too.
Syringomas are known to affect Asian and dark-skinned patients more frequently than other ethnic groups. They are also more common among women, like skin tags.
The spots can appear at any time. However, they are most likely to first appear during the years of puberty. Similarly, they can form at various points on the body, but disproportionately affect the upper cheeks and lower eyelids.
Strictly speaking, a syringoma is a kind of skin tumor, although they are completely benign. They are sweat duct tumors, although they are not associated with skin cancer. That being said, they are related to certain genetic conditions, which we will explore later.
They do not harm the skin and are not indicative of a wider problem. As such, your doctor will not treat them unless it is for cosmetic reasons.
What Causes Syringoma?
There are many causes of this skin condition, from genetics to too much exercise. Syringoma is no exception. They are caused by a number of factors, although first, we should make clear that their exact pathophysiology is unknown. We know is that they are associated with a problem in the eccrine sweat glands.
These spots tend to appear either just before or during the stage of puberty. They tend not to appear all at once, like a rash, but to develop gradually over time.
One rare form of the condition, known as Generalized Eruptive Syringoma, is characterized by a large number of spots developing at once; however, this is not the norm.
We do know that they are associated with many genetic conditions. These include Down syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Somebody affected with one of these genetic conditions is more likely to have syringomas.
It does seem as though syringomas can run in families. Some cases, linked by studies to Chromosome 16q22, can run from parent to child. However, this is only one potential cause, as many people with syringomas do not exhibit this change. Moreover, very few cases of this happening have been observed.
One rare form of syringoma, clear cell syringoma, is associated with Type 2 Diabetes. This form of the condition is rare, with only a dozen or so cases having been reported worldwide. However, of the few which have been reported, almost every one of the patients suffered from diabetes.
Syringoma vs. Milia vs. Skin Tags
If you’ve not had your skin condition formally diagnosed, you may not know what it is. This is especially the case for conditions like syringoma, which are small and easy to miss. Syringoma can be confused with other conditions, particularly milia, which are often similar.
Milia is the name for spots caused by a different skin condition. They are caused by keratin trapped underneath the outer layer of skin. As such, your doctor will be able to tell you for sure which condition you have, but you may want to diagnose them at home.
Milia appear in clusters and are often found in the same location around the eyes and cheeks. They are a similar size and can be a similar, regular skin-color. However, milia can also be a pearly white color, which is the crucial difference to syringoma. Moreover, milia do not present themselves symmetrically.
Skin tags are a condition characterized by small ‘flaps’ which protrude from the skin on a stalk. They are longer than syringoma and are almost always skin colored. If you have experience with both conditions, it would be impossible to confuse the two. Find out more in our skin tag FAQ.
If you are still unsure of which condition you have, you should seek a differential diagnosis from your doctor. This is where your doctor identifies which conditions you don’t have. In other words, your doctor can rule out other potential problems like milia, Fordyce spots, cysts and so on.
Where Will Syringoma Appear?
They can occur in almost any place on the skin. However, they appear in some areas more commonly than others.
These are the most common positions:
- Syringomas are frequently found around the eyes. This is by far the most common location to develop the condition. They can appear on the eyelids, near the eyes, or as bumps under the eyes. Since the condition is symmetrical, they appear under both eyes.
- Syringomas are also found on the forehead and the face more generally. This is far less common than the spots being located underneath the eyes. As such, it is likely that a person with a heavy case of syringoma around the eyes will also have them on their forehead. It is less likely that a person could have them on the forehead, but not around the eyes.
- They can rarely be found under the armpit, on the upper chest, and around the genitals. Again, this is exceptionally rare. Gynecological studies, for instance, indicate only single or double figures of cases known to science of syringoma around the vulva.
- Syringoma can form on the scalp. They are found there specifically as a result of the scarring caused by alopecia. These scars are unique to the condition.
If your spots look the way that we described above and appear around the eyes, they are almost certainly syringoma.
If they appear anywhere else on the body, it may be worth speaking to a dermatologist for a formal diagnosis. The reason is, of course, that these spots appearing anywhere other than the eyes and temples is quite rare.
Will Syringoma Go Away?
Syringomas are not like other bumps on the skin, such as acne or blackheads. They are not caused by the skin’s natural oils, or dirt, which can be removed through exfoliating. Syringomas are tiny, benign tumors. As such, it is rare for them to ‘come and go.’
If you just leave the bumps alone, they are unlikely to go of their own accord. Instead, you are likely to develop more over time, which is the opposite of what most patients want. It is for this reason that we look at a number of removal methods.
What Are the Best Syringoma Removal Methods?
Before you begin treatment, you should know that complete removal of these lesions is uncommon. You are more likely to be left with some, than with none at all. Alternatively, you will be left with smaller spots or less obvious spots than was previously the case.
One of the top treatments is electrocauterization. This is the process where an electric current is passed through a wire, which produces heat. This wire is at the end of a device held like a pen- hence why it is called an ‘electrocautery pen.’
The metal wire is then pressed into whatever kind of tissue you would like removed. In our case, this would be syringoma, but electrocautery is also a standard treatment for warts. The current itself doesn’t pass through you, but it does ‘cauterize’ the tissue underneath the wire. This means that the procedure is safe for those with pacemakers or other similar devices.
After a successful treatment, the unwanted tissue is destroyed. The treatment itself leaves a small mark, although this should diminish gradually as time elapses.
Electrocautery pens are small, handheld, and are often battery powered. This makes them a small but effective solution for tackling syringoma.
It is possible for a dermatologist to remove your syringoma. There are a number of methods they might use, from laser removal to electro-cauterization.
Perhaps the best method of surgically removing syringoma is through electrosurgery. Not to be confused with electrocauterization, this method of removal also uses electrical currents. However, the current is passed directly through the spots themselves. This is effective in destroying them.
These methods are successful, although recurrence of this skin condition is common. The main reason why you might not want to explore this option is the cost of surgery.
Dermabrasion involves the doctor uses a wire or small spinning wheel to even out the skin. This method of treating syringoma is reminiscent of sandpapering and can be just as painful.
Dermabrasion is used for exfoliating the skin and treating certain conditions like acne scarring. However, it is not designed nor is it said to be an altogether ‘foolproof’ method of improving skin appearance. The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery guidelines says that anything above a 50% improvement in symptoms is considered ‘successful’ treatment.
Even so, dermabrasion is not considered an appropriate treatment for syringoma. This is for two main reasons. Since this condition typically appears around the eyes, dermabrasion would be an unsafe treatment. Considering that there are other, safer methods available, this makes dermabrasion unsuitable.
Also, syringomas are a skin condition which is not solely present in the outermost layer of skin. As such, dermabrasion treatment would most likely be unable to remove the majority of the spots.
Topical creams, ointments, and solutions are one of our recommended methods of treating this condition. Creams for this condition are similar to those for other skin complaints.
In fact, they can eradicate spots, and leave the skin scar free. One such medication is Bichloroacetic acid (BCA). This acid can attack the tissue of syringoma, and cause it to scab and then drop off.
After a week to two weeks, the scab will drop from the skin and typically leaves no scar or discoloration. Naturally, this method can be painful when applied, since it is acidic. It will cause a brief burning sensation on the skin. But do bear in mind that this burning feeling does not last long since the dermatologist applying it will have numbed the skin.
Laser removal is another method used by doctors and specialists alike. You have most likely already heard of this method of treatment in relation to other conditions, such as warts. It is commonly recommended by doctors and dermatologists as their preferred treatment.
Laser removal involves using concentrated light waves to destroy tissue. These light waves produce heat, but only in a tiny spot. Think back to using a magnifying glass to concentrate light, and lasers aren’t too dissimilar to that, except much more potent.
Dermatologists recommend this method of treatment because it is very safe. There is minimal risk of infection since the heat of the laser instantly cauterizes the wound. And, for the same reason, there is also minimal risk of scarring.
Because of the equipment involved, this treatment method is only really available through a doctor or dermatologist. It is possible to find devices which you can buy for home treatment. However, these are expensive too and are not as effective as full laser surgery.
Cryotherapy freezes a spot on your skin. This is achieved using liquid nitrogen, which is so cold that they can freeze and kill tissue.
The cold treatment kills off blood flow to the affected piece of skin. This lack of blood flow destroys the tissue, just like in frostbite. And, although it sounds painful, it is much less painful than treatments which use heat or electrical current to work.
After successful cryotherapy, the syringoma will eventually drop from the skin. This is a widely available treatment and is used for a number of conditions. Cryotherapy is also used to tackle warts, verrucas and even come moles. So, there is no doubting that it is effective at what it does.
Most dermatologists will avoid offering this treatment first because of the danger which cryotherapy poses to the eyes. Cryotherapy can also cause excess scarring, far more than some other methods.
For anybody looking for a natural solution to syringoma, there are plenty on the market. The two most common are apple cider vinegar and essential oils, such as tea tree oil. But, do they work?
Apple cider vinegar for syringoma is one choice. It is recommended by beauty bloggers across the web for its supposed benefits for the skin. And this may not be entirely wrong. Since it is acidic, it can have a limited effect tackling spots by drying them out.
Essential oils, like tea tree oil, have the same effect. They dry out the skin, which can have a beneficial effect for some skin conditions. However, syringomas aren’t caused by oily skin, so it is unclear how either of these treatments will work. No clinical studies have been performed.
How to Cover Up Syringomas
If you are self-conscious about your skin condition, but cannot afford or don’t want surgery, you can still cover them up. This can help you boost your confidence without having to undergo treatment.
The best way of covering these marks is with a concealer. For anybody unfamiliar with make-up, concealer is used to conceal blemishes and marks on the skin. This could be anything from acne spots, to birthmarks and syringoma. Concealers come in all colors to match any skin, and in various ‘thicknesses’ to cover blemishes big and small.
Our first tip is that you can cover them up with sunglasses. The larger the sunglasses, the less visible they will be. This is an option for anybody uncomfortable with make-up, but it’s only really an option at certain times of the year when you’re outdoors.
How to Prevent Syringomas
Unfortunately, dermatologists have not yet found a way to prevent syringomas from appearing. They tend to form during the teenage years, although they can appear at any stage of life. Scientists are not sure of the reasons why and can do little to guess at how to prevent them.
Not only that, but syringomas can recur after treatment is finished. If you do choose to go ahead with surgery or topical treatments, it is still possible that they will reappear.
The best thing that you can do is to keep an eye on how your skin is looking. Try to identify any new spots that are appearing, and monitor them to see how quickly they develop. And, at the same time, see if there are any disappearing.
Keep your skin clear of dirt and excess oil, and avoid spending too much time outside without sunscreen. No research has been done to see how syringomas can be prevented. However, these general skin care tips should still be followed.
Is Syringoma Removal Covered by Insurance?
If you are exploring the prospect of surgical treatment, you may want to know if syringoma removal is covered by health insurance.
Unfortunately, syringoma removal is considered a cosmetic treatment by insurance companies across the U.S. And, like other cosmetic treatments like facelifts and Botox injections, syringoma treatment is therefore not covered by insurance.
Of course, some specialist insurance policies do cover this kind of treatment. However, it is unlikely that you will be covered by standard insurance. If unsure of whether you can claim for this kind of treatment, speak to your insurance provider.
You have a number of choices when it comes to removing syringoma. If you’re unsure how to proceed, speak to your dermatologist. They will be able to guide you in the right direction. You’ll be able to explore the pros and cons further, as well as getting up-to-date pricing information.
If you are looking for a syringoma removal method that you can use at home, find out about Pristine Herbal Touch Wart Mole Vanish. It’s a single-application treatment that has worked well for many people.