Syringoma: Tadpoles in the skin…

Syringomas are harmless sweat gland tumors that are most commonly found in clusters around the lower eyelids and upper cheeks but they may also be found elsewhere in the face, armpits, umbilicus, abdomen, upper chest, penis and vulva.  They present as small papules 1-3 mm in diameter that are yellow, brown and pink in color.  They are disproportionately found in Japanese women.  Genital syringomas may cause “itching” or pruritus and often are mistaken for genital warts.

Eruptive forms may occur manifesting as numerous papules with wide distribution, often involving the abdomen and chest, usually in young persons.  Some have suggested that eruptive syringomas represent a proliferative process of inflamed normal eccrine glands, analogous to trumatic neuroma being a proliferation of normal peripheral nerve.  Eruptive syringomas have been reported after “waxing” in the pubic areas.  Familial cases have also been reported and occur in 18% of adults with Down syndrome.

Histologically syringomas are characterized by dilated cystic spaces lined by two layers of cuboidal cells and epithelial strands of similar cells.  These small ducts have comma-like tails, looking like tadpoles in the skin.

TREATMENT:  Syringomas are difficult to treat.  Light electrodessication or shave removal may be beneficial.  For larger lesions surgical removal, carbon dioxide lasers and fractional thermolysis have been reported to be effective.  To read more about syringomas click HERE and HERE.