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Here's What Those Tiny, Cyst-Like Bumps On Your Face Really Mean

FYI, they're not pimples!
PHOTO: istockphoto

We all get small and hard-to-remove pimples on our faces, but when they appear in clusters and usually pop up around the eye and cheek area, they could be syringoma. Never heard of it? We spoke to Dr. Vicki Belo to learn more about this skin issue and how you can treat it!

What is syringoma?

Often mistaken for other skin conditions, Dr. Belo says syringoma is a "sweat-duct cyst." They develop when sweat ducts overreact and form abnormal (but benign) tumors and growths. Its causes are unknown, "but is most likely hereditary. It's very common in Asians, especially [those of] Chinese origin."

They usually develop on the neck, cheeks, and undereye area, according to Medical News Today.

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How is it different from acne and milia? 

There are four factors that cause acne: Hormones, bacteria, abnormal skin conditions, and oil. These can permanently "go away" because of specific medicines, but syringoma, on the other hand, is not an infection. According to Dr. Belo, "it's just a cyst in the sweat ducts, and you have sweat ducts everywhere."

So how does it differ with milia? She explains that while it also appears in the same location as syringoma, milia is often caused by wearing rich moisturizers that clog pores, which form a "capsule" over it. They're easier to get rid of because once you've removed the capsule, no new milia will return.

How can you treat it?

Dr. Belo recommends a carbon dioxide laser treatment for syringoma cases. (this costs about P300/piece and P9,900/area). 

This specific treatment is important "because when you look at syringoma, parang may butas 'yan na maliit sa gitna, and it's a little hard on the outside." A special solution is applied after lasering off the spot to prevent it from coming back.

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