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Apocrine hidrocystoma - External and Internal Eye
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Apocrine hidrocystoma - External and Internal Eye

Contributors: Vivian Wong MD, PhD, Belinda Tan MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Apocrine hidrocystomas, also known as sudoriferous cysts or Moll gland cysts, present as translucent or semitransparent, round, skin-colored or bluish masses containing a watery fluid. They most commonly occur along the eyelid margin, but may less commonly occur in the axillae or on the areolae, external ear, periumbilical or anogenital region, and rarely on the scalp and chest. They may be solitary or, less frequently, multiple. The cause is unknown, but they are thought to be due to blockage of the gland. They typically occur in patients over 60 years of age. Both sexes are equally affected.

The lesions are benign and usually asymptomatic. When multiple lesions are present, they may occur in association with Schöpf-Schulz-Passarge syndrome, an autosomal recessive syndrome characterized by multiple eyelid apocrine hidrocystomas, palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, hypodontia, and hypotrichosis.

Related topic: Eccrine hidrocystoma


D23.10 – Other benign neoplasm of skin of unspecified eyelid, including canthus

254725004 – Apocrine cystadenoma

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Last Updated:04/06/2022
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Patient Information for Apocrine hidrocystoma - External and Internal Eye
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Contributors: Medical staff writer


Apocrine hidrocystomas are also called cysts of Moll. They are small, smooth, round cysts that grow around your eyelid. These cysts are filled with watery fluid. They grow slowly and do not shrink or go away on their own.

Apocrine hidrocystomas are caused by blockage of the apocrine gland or the sweat ducts.

Who’s At Risk

Apocrine hidrocystomas are common in the United States among both men and women. They do not usually occur in children.

Signs & Symptoms

These cysts can be annoying, but they don't usually cause any symptoms and they don't affect your vision.

Self-Care Guidelines

Do not try to drain or remove the hidrocystoma on your own.

When to Seek Medical Care

Talk to your doctor to decide if removing the cyst is the right choice for you.


Because apocrine hidrocystomas are harmless, they do not need to be removed. But you and your doctor can discuss removing the cyst if it is bothersome. It can be removed with a needle and then cauterized, or it can be removed with laser surgery. It is rare for these cysts to reappear after removal.
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Apocrine hidrocystoma - External and Internal Eye
A medical illustration showing key findings of Apocrine hidrocystoma : Eyelids
Clinical image of Apocrine hidrocystoma - imageId=194172. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Numerous small, translucent cystic papules on the upper and lower eyelid margins.'
Numerous small, translucent cystic papules on the upper and lower eyelid margins.
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