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What Is Hidrocystoma?

By Andy Josiah
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Hidrocystoma is a type of benign tumor that is believed to develop from the sweat glands. It falls under the adenoma category, since it is of glandular origin. The most common site of occurrence is the eyelids. Due to its perceived lack of risk to overall health, some medical researchers do not consider it a tumor at all.

The condition is known by alternate names that are used to describe it or specify its origin. Hidrocystoma can be referred to as cystadenoma because it is an adenoma that resembles a cyst. Another term is sudoriferous cyst, since the condition comprises a cyst-like growth that originates in the sweat glands. Moll's gland cyst denotes the specific sweat glands, which are located in the eyelids.

The most widely used alternate term, however, is apocrine hidrocystoma. This applies to hidrocystoma arising from the apocrine glands. These are specialized glands that can be found in the armpits, the circular area of the breast called the areola, and the genital and anal regions. The term’s popularity can be attributed to the theory that the apocrine sweat glands are the major cause of the condition, although that is yet to be substantiated. Another similar variant is eccrine hidrocystoma, named for the human body’s major sweat glands.

The growths that characterize hidrocystoma usually appear as single or multiple blemishes with a dome-like shape and translucent appearance. They can be as big as 0.6 inches (1.5 centimeters), and they tend to grow slowly. Once they stop growing, they remain on the skin for good. Although the tumors usually appear on the eyelids, they can appear at the armpits, genital or anal region, neck, head or trunk. The condition occurs mostly in adults.

Hidrocystoma does not manifest any symptoms. Physicians, however, can diagnose the disease by using a biopsy. This is a medical test in which the physician removes cells and tissues to examine them for any abnormalities.

There are several ways to treat hidrocystoma. Some physicians surgically remove the tumors, perhaps using electrosurgical methods to destroy its wall to halt any chance of recurrence. Others prefer to drain the growths.

Other treatment methods vary according to the type of hidrocystoma. For instance, carbon dioxide laser vaporization and trichloroacetic acid are used for multiple apocrine hidrocystoma. Additionally, some medical researchers have suggested that botulinum toxin A injection can be used for recurrent growths.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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