At A Glance - Syringoma versus milia


Discriminatory signs

- First appear at puberty; additional lesions can develop later.

- Skin-coloured or yellowish, small, asymptomatic dermal papules that may appear translucent or cystic.

- Less than 3mm in diameter.

- Multiple in symmetrical clusters.

- Limited to upper cheeks and lower eyelids.

- Eruptive syringomas appear as multiple lesions on the chest or lower abdomen.

- Common in Asian or dark-skinned patients.


- Excision, electrodessication and curettage, dermabrasion, resurfacing with a CO2 laser.

- Can recur.


Discriminatory signs

- Asymptomatic, keratin-filled cysts.

- Equal prevalence for primary and secondary milia.

- Superficial, pearly white, 1-2mm in diameter.

- Primary milia in newborns are common and occur on the face, nose and palate.

- Primary milia in older children and adults develop on the face around the eyes.

- Secondary milia are observed in some blistering disorders and following dermabrasion.


- Incision or cautery if patients request it.

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