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Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Stop hiding your face.

What Is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a very common, benign over-growth of normal oil glands (sebaceous glands) of the skin, usually seen on the forehead, temples and cheeks. Sebaceous hyperplasia are small bumps on the face; "zits" that do not go away. They are due to the overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands. 

What does sebaceous hyperplasia look like?

Sebaceous hyperplasia typically appear as small, white-yellow or skin colored papules/bumps up to 3 mm in diameter. Close inspection reveals a central hair follicle surrounded by yellowish lobules. Some have a slightly umbilicated centre, resembling little “donuts” on the skin, and have a central “pore” or follicular opening. There are often prominent blood vessels, best seen using dermaoscopy. 













Who gets sebaceous hyperplasia?

Fair-skinned individuals are most often affected.  It tends to be genetically predetermined and there is usually a family history of this condition.

What causes sebaceous hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is not caused by infection or oily skin.  It is an inherited tendency or the skin and usually seen in families.  The oil glands of the skin are abnormally enlarged around a tiny hair follicle of the facial skin. Sebaceous hyperplasia may become more pronounced over an affected person’s lifetime. 

Is it dangerous?

This is not a precancerous condition, but caution must be taken to make sure that the lesion is correctly diagnosed. Sebaceous hyperplasia can sometimes mimic the appearance of a skin cancer, such as basal cell carcinoma. However, sebaceous hyperplasia is typically painless and does not itch.  It is mostly a cosmetic nuisance. For the most part, they are harmless, but as with any lesion with this description that bleeds easily or grows larger over, it time should be evaluated immediately by a dermatologist.


How is sebaceous hyperplasia treated?

Most dermatologists believe it can be effectively treated with fine-needle electrocautery, a mostly painless procedure that may or may not require local numbing injections.  Occasionally, slightly lighter or darker pigmentation may occur at the treated areas, which can sometimes resolve over time, but may be treated with lightened with fading creams. Another option is Laser skin resurfacing, in which a laser removes the outer layers of the skin. This is quite uncomfortable and costly, and although the skin may appear smoother, it is not very effective at permanently removing the sebaceous hyperplasia.

How to treat your sebaceous hyperplasia? 

Dr. Gillaspie uses the Elman Surgitron, a radio-wave frequency machine. An insulated needle is inserted into each lesion and an electrical charge is generated to ablate each sebaceous gland, leading to a smoother skin surface. The Elman Surgitron removes most sebaceous hyperplasia.

(Middle-Aged Male)
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