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Facts about the skin from DermNet New Zealand Trust. Topic index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Sebaceous hyperplasia

What is sebaceous hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is the term used for enlarged sebaceous glands seen on the forehead or cheeks of the middle-aged and elderly. Sebaceous hyperplasia appears as small yellow bumps up to 3 mm in diameter. Close inspection reveals a central hair follicle surrounded by yellowish lobules. There are often prominent blood vessels, best seen using dermatoscopy.

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a form of benign hair follicle tumour. The lesions are sometimes confused with basal cell carcinoma.

Sebaceous hyperplasia may be more prevalent in immunosuppressed patients, for example following organ transplantation. It is also frequently prominent in the rare Torre-Muir syndrome.

Sebaceous hyperplasia Sebaceous hyperplasia Sebaceous hyperplasia
Dermoscopy view
Sebaceous hyperplasia

More images of sebaceous hyperplasia ...

What is the treatment for sebaceous hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is harmless and does not require any treatment. However, for cosmetic reasons or if they are bothersome if irritated, individual lesions may be removed by light electrocautery or laser vaporization.

When the lesions are severe, extensive or disfiguring, oral isotretinoin is effective in clearing lesions but these may recur when treatment is stopped. In females, antiandrogens, may help improve the appearance.

Related information

On DermNet NZ:

Other websites:

Sebaceous hyperplasia – Medscape Reference

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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley MBChB FRACP, Hamilton, New Zealand.

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