Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous Hyperplasia: Cause, Symptoms and Treatments

What is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous Hyperplasia is a skin disorder which involves sebaceous glands. This disorder is marked by enlargement of sebaceous glands. Acne may be a symptom of this disorder which involves glands. This is very important to note that this is not a contagious condition and also it is not a dangerous condition for overall health of the person suffering with it. But at the same time, you can not ignore it as it can be a major cosmetic problem. It affects the self confidence of the person due to spoiled looks. There are treatments available to treat these papules and get rid of them. Whenever you feel the need to treat it, you should consult a doctor.

In this condition, yellowish growths take place on various spots on face. It may be nose, cheeks, forehead and seborrheic facial skin. These growths are called papules and their size may vary from 1 to 5 mm. These can be lonely lesion or can grow in groups also. Sometimes, Sebaceous Hyperplasia is mistaken asbasal cell carcinoma. Androgen activity highly influences the sebaceous glands. Number of sebaceous glands remains the same throughout the life but their activity and size may differ according to the age of eth person.

Who are at Risk with Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous Hyperplasia can affect people of any age group. But there is a certain age group which seems more prone to this skin disorder than people of other age group. It is observed that middle aged or older men are at more risk of this disorder. Young people do not catch this disease. If any person has any family history of getting this kind of skin disease, in that case, he can expect these growths any time after a certain age.

What is the Cause of Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

 It is not known exactly what causes sebaceous hyperplasia. It is not an infectious and hence not a contagious condition. It can be sometimes misdiagnosed as basal cell carcinoma. It is believed that sebaceous hyperplasia is caused by decrease in circulating levels of androgen and it is affected with aging. Ultraviolet rays can be a cofactor only as this disorder can occur in areas like buccal mucosa or areolae where sunlight is not an issue.

Most relevant causes for sebaceous hyperplasia can be accounted as

  • A family history of getting sebaceous hyperplasia
  • Widening of Sebaceous duct
  • Increased number of basal cells

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Sebaceous hyperplasia?

Signs of beginning of sebaceous hyperplasia are growing of small yellow papules on the face. It is due to over enlargement of sebaceous glands on the face. It can occur at nose, forehead and cheeks. These papules start as the small bumps. Size of these bumps can vary from 1 to 5 mm. These papules are yellow or yellowish white. These are slightly raised on the skin surface with small depression in the centre. Acne can be seen along with this condition and hairs become dry.

What is the Treatment for Sebaceous hyperplasia ?

Treatment is not needed for sebaceous hyperplasia as they cause no harm to the body. But for cosmetics reasons, people choose to get them removed.

Laser vaporization, diathermy and light cautery may be options for removing the individual lesions. There are other more advanced techniques like photofacial, fotofacials or photo rejuvenation which use intense pulsed light. In this technique, intense light beam destroys the unwanted tissue and leaves or does not touch the surrounding normal tissues.

Other option is to apply Tretinoin cream or gel daily. Gradually it will improve the condition and reduce the intensity of lesions and furthermore it prevents it from getting worse. Accutane can stop the occurrence of sebaceous hyperplasia but it will relapse after discontinuing it until you apply Tretinoin gel daily.

Treatment with oral isotretinoin is effective as it clears away the lesions with 2-6 weeks. For more sever condition, one can go for minor surgery and cryotherapy which involves use of liquid nitrogen freezing.  


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