Vulvar syringomas – benign sweat duct bumps

Syringomas are harmless bumps found on the upper cheeks, lower eyelids, and vulva (usually outer labia). Syringomas are a sweat gland duct (eccrine gland) condition (technically called a tumour, though this terminology may soon change to a form of dermatitis instead), developing usually after puberty in any ethnicity or gender, though darker skins and girls tend to be affected more. Syringoma often runs in families.

Those with Down syndrome or diabetes tend to have more syringomas. We are not sure why syringomas appear, but they do not typically pose any issues beyond cosmetic, and can be safely and effectively removed without scarring. Syringomas are most often found on the upper cheeks, lower eyelids, armpits, chest, stomach/abdomen, forehead, penis, and vulva.

     Symptoms of syringoma

  • Flesh-coloured bumps, can be yellowish
  • Bumps from 1-3mm in diameter
  • Bumps found in evenly-distributed clusters
  • Itchy
  • May be asymptomatic
  • Can appear suddenly, particularly in darker skin tones
  • On chest and abdomen, may erupt (eruptive syringoma)

     Treating syringomas
Treatment usually involves removing the syringomas, either by burning, cutting, lasers, dermabrasion or freezing. The risk of scarring – with an experienced practitioner – is minimal, so choose your dermatologist or doctor carefully. Recurrence rates are low, so one treatment may be all that is needed.