Sebaceous hyperplasia are enlarged sebaceous glands which appear as small yellow bumps with a whitish rim.

They are commonly seen on patients from middle age onwards and tend to appear on the forehead, where the sebaceous glands are more active.

They are especially prevalent in people who have a tendency to oily skin but can also occur in those with suppressed immunity.

Sebaceous hyperplasia occurs around a central hair follicle where a yellowish cyst develops. The blood vessels also tend to become more prominent in the surrounding area.

Sebaceous hyperplasia are not medically worrying, although they can sometimes resemble a type of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma. Therefore if there are any concerns, it is important to get the lesion checked out. A GP should refer the condition very quickly if it needs expert diagnosis.

More commonly, the concern is more a cosmetic one and sebaceous hyperplasia can be quite unsightly, especially where they appear on the face. Sebaceous hyperplasia tends not to disappear like other clogged pores (e.g. blackheads or acne spots) but can last a long time and many patients prefer to take action in terms of finding a suitable treatment for this lesion.

Treating Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia may be treated in a number of ways, depending on the nature of the problem:

  • Laser treatment – laser works by destroying the lesions, breaking down the blockage while also stimulating the skin’s own healing and renewal processes, leaving skin clearer and healthier-looking
  • Cryotherapy – liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the lesions so that they drop off
  • Medication – topical treatments may be suitable and doctors can prescribe stronger treatments than those available over the counter, such as retinoid or azelaic acid
  • Surgical excision – large, stubborn, hardened lesions can be treated with surgery. This is a last resort, but careful excision of the lesion ensures that it won’t recur. There is a risk of scarring, but it fades over time and is usually less noticeable than the original problem

It is important to carry out these procedures with great care in order to minimise the risk of long-term skin damage or scarring.

A variety of treatment options are available at Cosmedics Skin Clinics, where all treatments are carried out by skilled and experienced doctors.