Understanding Vulvar Syringoma: Causes Explained

I’ve battled with skin issues myself, so I get how frustrating and embarrassing it can be. I want to shed light on vulvar syringoma, a not-so-common but important skin problem. Knowing what causes it and what it’s like can really help those going through it1.

Vulvar syringoma is a unique kind of skin growth. It shows up on the vulva, mostly on the labia majora. These growths are small, firm, flesh-colored, or yellowish bumps.
They are tumors that come from sweat glands1. While they often show up on the eyes and face, they may also be found on the vulva.

Unusually, vulvar syringomas aren’t seen very often. There are fewer than 50 known cases in all of medical history. They tend to start showing up in late childhood or early adulthood. In some cases, they might cause itching1.

Key Takeaways

  • Vulvar syringoma is a rare, benign skin condition characterized by small, firm, flesh-colored or yellowish papules on the vulva.
  • Syringomas usually show up in early adulthood and are more common in females and those of Asian descent1.
  • The clear cell variant of syringoma is linked to diabetes mellitus1.
  • There have been reports of syringoma running in families, passing down through genes1.
  • Syringomas may be connected to inherited diseases like Down syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome1.

What is Vulvar Syringoma?

Characteristics and Presentation

Vulvar syringoma is a benign growth from sweat glands2. It shows up as small, firm bumps on the vulva mostly found on the labia majora2. They look skin-colored to yellow and are usually smaller than 5 mm2. Sometimes, they can blend together into tough, string-like tissues2. These growths are not seen often2 and usually appear on both sides2. They might not cause any symptoms, but some people could feel itchy or uncomfortable2.

They mostly happen in women and are more frequent than in men3. They usually start during teenage years, but it’s rare for them to appear on the vulva3. If they do make you feel itchy, it’s mainly when they are on the vulva3. These bumps often look like multiple, slightly colored to yellow spots on the labia3. However, they can also look like white, milium-like cysts or like lichen in some cases3.

Vulvar syringomas are very uncommon, with about 40 cases affecting women from ages 8 to 784. Most women with these growths don’t feel any symptoms4. But, during pregnancy, some may notice more bumps and feel a bit itchy4.

“Syringomas are benign eccrine gland neoplasms appearing as flesh-colored subcutaneous papules.”2

Causes of Vulvar Syringoma

Vulvar syringoma’s exact cause isn’t well understood. It’s linked to too many or abnormal sweat gland structures. These structures, called eccrine glands, can grow out of control, forming benign lumps5. Hormones and genes might also have a part in causing vulvar syringomas6.

After puberty, vulvar syringomas can begin to appear. They can affect anyone, but are more usual in darker-skinned people and girls6. They might pass down in families. If someone has Down syndrome or diabetes, they could be more at risk of getting these lumps6.

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Vulvar syringomas are not often written about. But, they may not be as rare as we think since many people have no symptoms. When there are symptoms, such as severe itching, it usually means they are in the vulva area. Having these lumps show up in both the face and vulva is very uncommon7.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about vulvar syringoma. We think the problem lies with how sweat glands grow and function. Hormones, genetics, and some health conditions may add to this issue567.

what causes vulvar syringoma

Vulvar syringomas are a rare form of benign eccrine tumors7. They appear due to excessive or abnormal growth of sweat gland structures in the skin’s outer layer. The precise causes are not fully clear, but it’s likely that hormones and genes have a role8.

They are often seen in adult women and can start in teenage years78. Itching is a significant symptom, especially in the vulva. Although rare, they might run in families, yet are not usually hereditary7.

These growths at the vulva are uncommon, with about 34 cases known by 20158. Vulvar syringomas occur in about 1 out of 1,100 to 1,500 women in certain groups8. Doctors need to be alert to consider them as a cause of itching in the vulva and manage them properly7.

Vulvar syringomas appear in different ways, from firm to soft, skin-colored to clear bumps. They may also look like white, cystic papules or lichenoid papules. Most often, they are found on both sides of the labia majora. Yet, large or single syringomas on the labia minora have been noted9.

In conclusion, vulvar syringomas are a rare type of benign skin tumor. Their exact cause is not known, but hormones and genes likely have a part. It’s important for healthcare workers to recognize this condition. This knowledge ensures proper care for vulvar itching789.

Risk Factors and Associations

Vulvar syringomas are seen more often in women. They might be linked to hormones10. These small bumps might get bigger when a woman is pregnant, just before her period, or when on hormone therapy10. They could also appear more if someone has Down syndrome10.

Hormonal Influences

Experts aren’t completely sure how hormones affect vulvar syringomas. But, changes in hormones during pregnancy or your cycle might make these bumps grow10. If you have a hormone or endocrine issue, you could be more likely to get vulvar syringomas10.

We need to know more about how hormones impact vulvar syringomas10. Doctors should keep these links in mind when treating patients with this condition11.

“Eruptive syringoma” was looked at in a 2003 study by Guitart J et al10..

Clinical Presentation and Diagnosis

Vulvar syringomas show up as small, firm, skin-colored or yellowish bumps. They’re mostly on the labia majora7. These bumps are usually under 5 mm and might connect to form tough tissue7. While they don’t typically cause symptoms, some people might feel itchy7.

They are rare and not often seen on the vulva7. One case involved a 45-year-old woman with vulvar papules who was very itchy for 2 months7. Having both facial and vulvar syringomas is uncommon. But, itching is more usual with vulvar ones compared to other areas7.

Doctors usually find vulvar syringomas during a regular check-up. They can look like symmetrical bumps on the labia majora4. The kind of extreme itching often linked to these bumps is not common4.

To diagnose vulvar syringoma, a doctor will likely do a biopsy. This will show the characteristic growth pattern in the skin. It’s a key test to really know what’s happening7. This pattern includes certain shapes in the cells that help the doctor know what they’re looking at.

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Histopathology, which is the study of tissues, is the best way to diagnose syringomas. Knowing about this disease helps doctors take better care of patients with severe itching in this area7.

Treatment Options

There are both surgical and non-surgical ways to manage vulvar syringomas. The best option depends on the size and place of the lesions, and what the patient prefers. It also considers possible risks6.

Surgical Treatments

Surgical methods can remove the growths but might leave scars. These techniques include cutting out the lesions, using electric currents or freezing, and applying lasers. Laser treatments can specifically target and destroy the growths6.

Typically, the possibility of scarring is very low when the procedure is done by a skilled doctor. Plus, these growths often don’t come back after one treatment6.

Non-Surgical Treatments

If surgery isn’t the preferred choice or if there are only a few lesions, options like topical retinoids or chemical peels could be helpful. These approaches are non-invasive and can make the growths less noticeable. They do, however, need consistent use over a long period to see significant change6.

Discussing your situation with a healthcare professional is key. They can help you choose the best plan based on your case, the risks involved, and your personal choices6127.

Differential Diagnosis

Vulvar syringoma can look similar to some other skin conditions. It can be hard to tell them apart. It’s crucial to find out if it’s vulvar syringoma. This way, the right treatment can be given8.

Fox-Fordyce disease is one such condition. It shows up as multiple cysts in the glands with inflammation. The big difference is, it makes you really itchy. Vulvar syringomas, on the other hand, usually don’t cause any symptoms8. Also, Fox-Fordyce disease can get better if you’re pregnant or take birth control. It might even go away after menopause. This is not the case with vulvar syringomas8.

There are a few other conditions that might be mistaken for vulvar syringoma, like multiple epidermal cysts, senile angiomas, condyloma acuminata, and lymphangioma circumscriptum. Doctors need to look closely at the lesions and ask about your health history. This helps them figure out if it’s actually vulvar syringoma or something else8.

When it comes to looking at the tissue under a microscope, telling vulvar syringoma apart from microcystic adnexal carcinoma and desmoplastic trichoepithelioma is key8. A biopsy and a detailed look by a skin doctor or pathologist are often needed for an accurate diagnosis.

Overall, though vulvar syringoma is rare, it’s important to include it when thinking about vulvar lesions. The right tests and careful looking by a doctor can make sure it’s not something else. Getting the diagnosis right is critical for good care8.

“Clinically, vulvar syringomas should be differentiated from various other skin conditions such as Fox-Fordyce disease, multiple epidermal cysts, senile angiomas, condyloma acuminata, and lymphangioma circumscriptum.”8

Prognosis and Prevention

The outlook for vulvar syringoma is usually very good when treated properly12. These are often harmless and don’t usually cause symptoms. They are more of a cosmetic issue than a health risk12. With the right treatment, their look can be managed, and new ones might not appear12.

Keeping your skin healthy by exfoliating, using sunscreen, and avoiding skin irritants can lower your risk of getting vulvar syringomas13. In some instances, Botox treatments can also help by reducing sweating13. This might stop the problem or at least keep it under control13.

Some people are at a higher risk for vulvar syringomas13. This includes those with specific health issues and a family history. Women with darker skin or of Asian heritage are also more likely to get them12.

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Preventing vulvar syringomas completely is not yet possible13. But, good skin care and treating health issues linked to them can lower the chances. This approach can also help in managing how they look13.

Characteristic Description
Prevalence Vulvar syringoma is commonly seen in young adult women and is prevalent during puberty12. The condition is more frequent in women of Asian descent and those with darker skin tones12.
Risk Factors Positive family history, Down syndrome, and poorly-controlled diabetes are some of the risk factors associated with vulvar syringoma12.
Prognosis The prognosis for vulvar syringoma is excellent with appropriate treatment, as it is considered a benign tumor12.
Prevention Regular exfoliation, use of sunscreen, and avoidance of skin irritants may help reduce the risk of developing vulvar syringomas13. Botox injections to reduce sweating may also aid in prevention and management13.

To wrap up, vulvar syringomas don’t put your health at big risk. Still, they can be a bother. Yet, with the right care and treatment, their impact can be lessened. By taking care of your skin and any related health issues, you can fight back against this common skin problem1213.


Vulvar syringoma is a rare, benign skin problem often unnoticed and not widely reported14. It’s linked to too much or abnormal eccrine gland growth in the skin, yet the exact reason remains unknown14. Mainly, it impacts teenage girls, showing that girls are more at risk143. There could be cases in families too14.

These small bumps look firm, skin-colored, or yellow and measure 1 to 3 mm wide143. They usually don’t hurt, but they might itch sometimes. This itching might get worse because of hormones or certain things in the environment37. There are many ways to treat them, and what the patient wants is key in choosing the right way143.

Knowing about vulvar syringoma helps doctors spot and treat it better1437. More research and awareness are needed to make things better for those with this skin issue. With more focus, we can improve how we diagnose and treat it, making life better for those it affects.

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What is vulvar syringoma?

Vulvar syringoma is a rare, benign skin issue. It shows up as tiny, hard, skin-colored or yellow bumps on the vulva. These bumps mostly appear on the labia majora.

What causes vulvar syringoma?

The condition starts due to too much or unusual growth of sweat gland structures. Its reasons are not completely clear. But, it seems that overactive sweat duct cells on the skin’s outer layer play a role.

What are the risk factors and associations for vulvar syringoma?

It affects mostly women. Lesions might show up more during pregnancy or before periods. They can also occur more in women on hormone therapy. People with Down syndrome may also have them.

How are vulvar syringomas diagnosed?

To diagnose, doctors look for these small, hard, skin-colored or yellow bumps. They normally find them on the labia majora. A biopsy can confirm diagnosis. It shows dilated ducts and a special tissue pattern, which is typical.

What are the treatment options for vulvar syringomas?

There are both surgery and non-surgery options. Surgery involves cutting out the bumps, burning them off, freezing, or using lasers. Non-surgical methods are applying retinoids or using chemical peels.

How do vulvar syringomas differ from other vulvar lesions?

It can look like other conditions like Fox-Fordyce disease, but with a key difference. Fox-Fordyce disease makes the area very itchy, while vulvar syringomas usually cause no symptoms.

What is the prognosis and prevention of vulvar syringoma?

Vulvar syringomas don’t usually harm health. They might stay forever but often don’t bother the person. Their main effect is on how the area looks. It’s hard to prevent them. But, taking care of your skin might lower the chance of getting them.

Source Links

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK603740/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8682821/
  3. https://dergipark.org.tr/tr/download/article-file/423602
  4. https://www.mdedge.com/obgyn/article/262934/gynecology/vulvar-syringoma
  5. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03033738
  6. https://myvagina.com/vulvar-syringomas-sweat-duct-tumours/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9282696/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9282708/
  9. https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/222485/dermatopathology/vulvar-syringoma
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092567/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4016058/
  12. https://www.dovemed.com/diseases-conditions/syringoma-vulva
  13. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/syringoma-causes-treatment
  14. https://www.scirp.org/journal/paperinformation?paperid=98310