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Causes of Syringoma

Syringoma is a benign, or non-cancerous, growth caused by overactive sweat glands. Syringoma usually develop on the neck, upper eyelids, and lower eyelids, but occasionally they can also grow on the abdomen, armpits, scalp, bellybutton, and genitals.

In most cases, syringomas are harmless and do not present any other symptoms. Rarely, however, some individuals with syringoma experience extreme pain and itchiness, especially when sweating.

Causes of Syringomas

The name “syringoma” is derived from syrinx, the Greek word for tube or pipe.

Syringoma are benign tumors of the sweat ducts (eccrine glands). These tumors lie in the mid to deep (dermal) layers of the skin.

Syringoma can be caused by anything that increases the sweat gland productivity, which may lead to this type of tumor growth. Usually the root cause of Syringoma is hormonal imbalance.

Some other possible causes may include:

Where do Syringoma grow on the body:

  • Upper eyelids
  • Lower eyelids
  • Armpits
  • Chest
  • Abdomen
  • Forehead
  • Genitalia (penis or vulva)

Fast facts on syringomas:

  • Syringoma mostly develop in early adulthood, between the ages of 25 and 30.
  • Syringoma are linked to several different medical conditions, including diabetes
  • Though rare, some people have a genetic predisposition towards developing them.
  • Once syringoma have been diagnosed, there is usually no reason to treat or remove them.

Signs and symptoms of syringoma

Syringoma usually appear as small bumps that grow between 1 and 3 millimeters. They are either yellowish or flesh-colored. They are typically found in symmetrical clusters on both sides of the face and/or the body.

Eruptive syringoma are usually found on the chest or abdomen and appear as multiple lesions occurring at the same time.

Syringoma are neither itchy nor painful and are usually asymptomatic.

A syringoma is a skin-colored or yellowish firm rounded bump. It is well-defined and sized one to three millimeters in diameter. Syringomas usually first appear during puberty, but additional lesions can develop later. They do not itch or cause pain.

The condition usually appears as a crop of multiple lesions typically around the eyelid. They can also appear on the forehead, upper cheeks, armpits, chest, lower abdomen or genitalia. The clusters normally distribute on both sides of the body in a symmetrical fashion.

The abrupt occurrence of syringoma in a group on the chest and abdomen is called eruptive syringoma. Clinically, it may be mistaken for acne vulgaris, sebaceous hyperplasia, milia, lichen planus and granuloma annulare on the trunk.

Who develops Syringoma?

Syringoma can occur at any age, however they mainly appear after puberty. Sometimes they also grow during puberty. Syringoma can develop in people of any age and of either gender, however females are more commonly affected.

Syringoma sometimes run in families. Up to 18% of people with Down syndrome have syringoma. People with diabetes mellitus are more likely to have a type known as clear cell syringoma.
A less common condition, eruptive syringoma, is more commonly seen in people with darker skin.

What do syringoma look like?

Syringoma are skin-coloured small lumps measuring between 1 to 3 mm in diameter. In people with skin of dark skin tone, they may appear as yellowish or pale bumps. Syringoma are more common in women and most frequently appear during or after adolescence. The most common location is around the eye area. Eruptive Siringoma appear on the trunk, chest and abdominal area.

Syringoma are:

  • 1. Yellow
  • 2. Brown
  • 3. Pale pink
  • 4. Skin-toned

Usually, syringoma develop over time, but some people, especially younger individuals, may experience sudden, or eruptive syringomas. Eruptive syringoma often cause intense itch as well as redness and pain.

The majority of syringoma are not associated with any symptoms. Some people may experience itch with sweating.

What other problems can occur with syringoma?

The majority of syringoma appear almost suddeenly over the course of a week or two. Inherited (genetic) factors play a role in some cases. Inherited syringoma usually occur in pre-adolescence. Eruptive syringoma have been reported in Down syndrome. Syringoma have also been associated with other rare genetic conditions such as the Brooke-Spiegler syndrome.

Syringoma are often mistaken for other skin conditions. Conditions with symptoms similar to syringoma include:

  • milia
  • lichen planus
  • xanthoma
  • sebaceous hyperplasia
  • acne vulgaris
  • flat warts
  • basal cell skin cancer

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