Introduction: Although various treatment options for hidrocystomas have been described, the comparative efficacy of these treatments is poorly understood. Methods: We conducted a systematic review of all articles describing the treatment of hidrocystomas. Treatment modalities were categorized as destructive surgical procedures, skin-directed therapies, systemic medical therapies, general measures, or combined. Patient and tumor characteristics, as well as response rate, recurrence rate, and adverse effects, were extracted from each article. Results: A total of 94 articles involving 192 patients and 255 unique treatment events were included in the final analysis. Destructive surgical procedures had an overall response rate and recurrence rate of 92.9% and 10.8%, respectively. Skin-directed therapies had an overall response rate of 72.6%. The overall response rate to systemic medical therapies was 71.4%. Solitary hidrocystomas were primarily treated with destructive surgical procedures, including excision, which was associated with a 4.7% recurrence rate. Multiple hidrocystomas were successfully treated with a variety of therapies, including destructive surgical procedures and skin-directed therapies requiring ongoing or repeated therapy. Conclusions: Excision has the highest efficacy for solitary hidrocystomas. A number of therapies have shown efficacy for multiple hidrocystomas, including lasers, intracystic trichloroacetic acid, intracystic hypertonic glucose, topical and oral anticholinergics, and botulinum toxin. Aluminum chloride is associated with a low response rate. Larger comparative studies are needed to further evaluate the optimal treatments for solitary and multiple hidrocystomas.
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