Vulvar syringoma

Syringomas are harmless bumps found on the upper cheeks, or lower eyelids, with a vulvar syringoma usually found on the outer labia.

A vulvar syringoma is a sweat gland duct (eccrine gland) condition that is technically called a tumour, though this terminology may soon change to a form of dermatitis instead. Vulvar syringoma usually develops after puberty in any ethnicity or gender. Darker skin types and girls tend to be affected more, and general and vulvar syringoma often runs in families.

Those with Down syndrome or diabetes tend to have more general and vulvar 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 vulvar 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 a vulvar syringoma

Treatment usually involves removing the vulvar 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.

References

  • Yorganci A, Kale A, Dunder I, Ensari A, Sertcelik A. Vulvar syringoma showing progesterone receptor positivity. BJOG. 2000 Feb. 107(2):292-4. [Medline].
  • Huang YH, Chuang YH, Kuo TT, Yang LC, Hong HS. Vulvar syringoma: a clinicopathologic and immunohistologic study of 18 patients and results of treatment. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2003 May. 48(5):735-9. [Medline].
  • Garman M, Metry D. Vulvar syringomas in a 9-year-old child with review of the literature. Pediatr Dermatol. 2006 Jul-Aug. 23(4):369-72. [Medline].
  • Bal N, Aslan E, Kayaselcuk F, Tarim E, Tuncer I. Vulvar syringoma aggravated by pregnancy. Pathol Oncol Res. 2003. 9(3):196-7. [Medline].
  • Karatzi C, Stefanidou M, Chaniotis V, Evangelou G, Krueger-Krasagakis S, Krasagakis K. Treatment of giant vulvar syringomas with topical adelmidrol: The role of mast cells. Australas J Dermatol. 2018 Jun 4. [Medline].


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Jessica Lloyd - Vulvovaginal Specialist Naturopathic Practitioner, BHSc(N)

Jessica is a degree-qualified naturopath (BHSc) specialising in vulvovaginal health and disease, based in Melbourne, Australia.

Jessica is the owner and lead naturopath of My Vagina, and is a member of the:

  • International Society for the Study of Vulvovaginal Disease (ISSVD)
  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH)
  • National Vulvodynia Association (NVA) Australia
  • New Zealand Vulvovaginal Society (ANZVS)
  • Australian Traditional Medicine Society (ATMS)
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