Photo Rounds

Bumps under eyes

A 31-year-old Hispanic woman presented to her family physician (FP) with new bumps under both eyes. She had no symptoms, but was worried about what these bumps could be and wanted to know what could be done to stop new ones from forming. She started taking a birth control pill approximately 6 months prior to her visit and wondered if this was the cause of the bumps.

What’s your diagnosis?


Bumps under eyes

The FP diagnosed syringomas in this patient.

He explained that the bumps are benign tumors that occur frequently on the lower eyelids and upper cheeks. They are completely unrelated to the birth control pill and can develop in men, and run in families, too. While syringomas appear to occur more often in women than men, there are no known causative agents. These are benign growths of the eccrine sweat glands.

Treatment options include cryosurgery, electrosurgery, or chemical destruction with trichloroacetic acid. All of these approaches need to be performed carefully, as the syringomas are so close to the eye. Also, these treatments are only modestly effective; new syringomas can form. And there are no preventive treatments.

In this case, the patient had light brown skin, so there was a risk of causing permanent hypopigmentation with any of these destructive methods. The patient was reassured about the benign nature of the condition; she decided not to seek therapy.

Photos and text for Photo Rounds Friday courtesy of Richard P. Usatine, MD. This case was adapted from: Smith M. Epidermal nevus and nevus sebaceous. In: Usatine R, Smith M, Mayeaux EJ, et al. Color Atlas of Family Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2013:958-962.

To learn more about the Color Atlas of Family Medicine, see:

You can now get the second edition of the Color Atlas of Family Medicine as an app by clicking on this link:

Next Article: