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Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

If you are a patient aged 40 or above and have oily or combination skin, along with small, stubborn bumps that are either yellow, pink in color and donut shaped on your face, it is possible that you are dealing with sebaceous hyperplasia. Although these bumps are usually harmless, they can be bothersome and challenging to eliminate. Thankfully, The Art of Skin Dermatology can provide you with the necessary treatment. Reach out to us today to book an appointment with a dermatologist and discover the various treatments we offer for a diverse range of skin conditions.

What Is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a harmless condition characterized by the benign growth of oil glands in the body. These glands, which are typically too small to be seen with the naked eye, are attached to hair follicles all over the body. Their main function is to release natural oils that keep the skin moisturized and supple. However, in certain cases, these glands can become enlarged and clogged with sebum, resulting in small, shiny bumps that commonly appear on the face, particularly on the nose and forehead. Occasionally, these bumps can also occur in other areas such as the areolas, chest, scrotum, and penis. It is important to note that these bumps may sometimes be mistaken for acne, milia, or even basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer. In such cases, a dermatologist may recommend a biopsy of the bumps to confirm the diagnosis.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia Causes

The exact cause of sebaceous hyperplasia remains unknown, but it is believed to be linked to changes in androgen hormones as individuals age. This condition typically manifests in middle-aged patients and is more commonly observed in fair-skinned individuals compared to those with deeper skin tones. Additionally, it is more prevalent in individuals who have had significant exposure to UV radiation, whether through unprotected sun exposure or tanning beds. The harmful radiation not only affects the skin but also damages the sebaceous glands. Although sebaceous hyperplasia typically occurs in older patients starting at middle age, individuals with a strong family history of the condition may experience its onset at an earlier age.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia manifests as small, glistening bumps in a white-yellow hue, measuring 1–3 millimeters in diameter. Each bump features a minuscule depression at its core, and in some instances, visible blood vessels may be present. Patients typically observe multiple bumps simultaneously, which can be scattered or closely grouped together. Sebaceous hyperplasia bumps tend to emerge most frequently in areas abundant with sebaceous glands, such as the forehead, middle of the face, and other body parts. Distinguishing sebaceous hyperplasia from acne without professional diagnosis can be challenging. Acne arises when follicles become obstructed, leading to oil accumulation beneath the skin, whereas sebaceous hyperplasia occurs within the subcutaneous gland. Reach out to us today to arrange an appointment with our skilled dermatologists.

The Treatment

Sebaceous hyperplasia is usually benign and does not necessitate any medical intervention, although many individuals seek treatment for aesthetic purposes. Home remedies, like using over-the-counter creams and topical ointments, are generally ineffective. Our team of dermatology experts provides effective solutions for sebaceous hyperplasia to promote a clear and healthy complexion. A dermatologist from our practice may suggest one of the following therapies to address this condition.

Clinical Skin Care

To maintain healthy skin and address sebaceous hyperplasia, it is crucial to use dermatologist-approved skin care products tailored to your specific skin type. These products may contain ingredients like retinol or salicylic acid to prevent clogging of oil glands and hyaluronic acid for natural hydration. Additionally, it is important for individuals with this condition to use daily sun protection with an SPF of at least 35. Sunscreen not only helps prevent sebaceous hyperplasia but also protects against photodamage, precancerous skin conditions, and skin cancer.

Facial Peels

A clinical facial peel with salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), can be effective in preventing sebum buildup in oil glands. However, individuals with sensitive skin should be cautious as chemical peels may cause irritation, redness, and sensitivity. Proper aftercare is essential to avoid aggravating sebaceous hyperplasia. It is important to follow the post-peel recommendations provided by your skin care professional for optimal results.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy may be recommended by your dermatology professional to remove sebaceous hyperplasia bumps. This treatment involves using a laser to gently smooth the top layer of skin and eliminate trapped sebum in the glands. Laser therapy can be beneficial, especially for individuals with sensitive skin or those who are not suitable candidates for other treatment options. Also known as laser resurfacing, this non-invasive treatment may be suitable for various skin types. Contact us to learn more about the available treatments!


Electrocautery, also known as thermal cautery, utilizes an electrical needle to burn off lesions. Among dermatologists, it is the most commonly used treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia. This method is fast, painless, effective, and carries minimal risks. After the procedure, the skin forms scabs that eventually fall off, revealing a smooth area. However, there is a small chance of skin pigmentation changes in rare cases, which is why it is crucial to seek treatment from licensed skin professionals.


In cases where sebaceous hyperplasia is severe or persistent, dermatology surgery may be recommended by healthcare professionals. This surgical procedure removes the bumps and prevents their return. However, the decision to undergo surgery depends on various factors unique to each patient, and less invasive options may be preferred for treating sebaceous hyperplasia. To determine if surgical treatment is necessary for your condition, please reach out to Gainesville Dermatology & Skin Surgery.

Antiandrogen Medications

Although the exact cause of sebaceous hyperplasia remains unknown, medical experts suspect a connection between this condition and elevated levels of naturally produced testosterone. For female patients experiencing severe symptoms associated with sebaceous hyperplasia, some doctors may suggest antiandrogen medications. These medications may also be recommended for patients who do not respond well to other treatment methods or are unable to receive alternative treatments.

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