(Epithelioma adenoids cysticum; Adenoma of the sweat-glands; Syringocystoma)
This rare disease is usually found on the face, chest, back and arms and presents pin-head- to pea-sized, pearly, pinkish or pale yellowish tumors. They are multiple, varying from two to several score, usually remain discrete but occasionally coalesce. They are round or oval in shape, tense, shining and translucent, distended like vesicles. Their course is benign without adenitis or involvement of the general health.
Etiology and Pathology. – The cause is unknown. Both sexes may be affected, most commonly about puberty. Microscopically it is undoubtedly an epithelial growth, taking its start from embryonic epithelial germs misplaced during fetal life. In some instances its origin seems to have been in the epithelia of the hair-follicles, while others appear to be from cystic dilation of the sweat- ducts. Colloidal and cystic degeneration is often noted.
Diagnosis. – Molluscum contagiosum tends to disappear, is a malady of childhood and its lesions show a central depression and aperture. Hydrocystoma fluctuates as to its existence and course and has fluid contents. Colloid degeneration presents yellowish, translucent, gelatinous looking nodules which may undergo involution without leaving any trace.
Prognosis and Treatment. – While a benign growth, this disease does not spontaneously disappear and the possibility of actual epithelioma and ulcerative degeneration should be borne in mind. The treatment is by surgical means, consisting of simple incision and expressage of the contents in the case of smaller growths, while the larger ones may be curetted, cauterized or destroyed by electrolysis.