June 2011
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Sebaceous Hyperplasia: Mysterious bumps on your skin

What are these little bumps that appear on the skin, and how do you get rid of them?

These little bumps often look similar to a pimple, however they don’t go away on there own and acne treatments are not going to get rid of them. Clients will often ask me to “extract” these little bumps, thinking that they are acne comedones. They are actually Sebaceous Hyperplasia and they can not be extracted, however they can be treated.

What is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a skin disorder of the sebaceous (oil) glands, basically it is an enlarged oil gland. The sebaceous gland can over grow. When the sebaceous gland becomes enlarged it protrudes to the surface of the skin and is visible as a as soft, small papule, that is depressed in the center.

The exact cause is unclear, however it is commonly seen on people with oily skin and there also appears to be a hormonal link. Genetics, sun exposure, aging, and acne are also believed to be a factor in the development of Sebaceous Hyperplasia. Only a doctor can diagnose skin lesions, if you suspect you have a sebaceous hyperplasia it is a good idea to see a dermatologist. Basal cell carcinoma and sebaceous hyperplasia can look similar, so a proper diagnosis is needed.

Skin Cancer – Basal Cell Carcinoma

Non harmful – Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Treatment For Sebaceous Hyperplasia

It is not medicaly necassary to treat Sebaceous Hyperplasia, however many people choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. It is important to remember that even after treating the sebaceous hyperplasia, there is a good chance it will grow back. You may want to consider treatments that produce results and are also cost effective, as you will likely need to repeat them at some point in the future.

There are several treatments that can be used to treat or remove sebaceous hyperplasia including: TCA (Trichloroacetic Acid), laser treatments, (PDT) photodynamic therapy with Levulan, cryotherapy, cauterization and electro desiccation with a hyfracator. Using a topical tretinoin (Retin-A), can also be useful, although it will not remove the lesion. Isotretinoin (Accutane) is also used to treat sebaceous hyperplasia. In some cases minor surgery may be recommended to remove the “bumps”.

After removing the lesion, I like to use Levulan, Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) to help control sebaceous hyperplasia, because it shrinks the oil gland.

My preference is to first remove the “bumps” that are on the surface of the skin, and then follow up with products or treatments that are designed to shrink the oil gland, to help prevent it from growing back. If you have several, I recommend to start by treating one first, as a test to see how you respond. There is a possibility of hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation, those with darker skin are at greater risk for these complications.

If you have Sebaceous Hyperplasia that you would like treated, you can schedule a consultation with an Esthetician at
Paradise Valley Skin Klinic. 480 421-1701

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2:08 pm - Posted by Kristy

6 Responses to “Sebaceous Hyperplasia: Mysterious bumps on your skin”

  1. jeffrey says:

    I have the skin disorder hyperplasia sebaceous. I would like some consultation for it. I also ride a motorcycle. Does this affect the treatment as far as healing is concerned?

    • Kristy says:

      No, it should not be a problem that you ride a motorcycle. You will need to use a recommended sunblock after treatment. Are you in Arizona?

  2. hanu says:

    I doo have this skin disorder ‘sabaceous hyperplasia’ I am,facing problems because of pimples which erupt and contains puss. Some pimples will disappear easily which other leaves a small bump on skin which is soft and is similar as to sabaceous hyperplasia kind.. I want to know to treat it in a natural way..

    • Kristy says:

      Only a doctor can actually diagnose it as a sebaceous hyperplasia, and if that is what you have they will need to cut, burn or freeze it off. I can not recommend any treatment to do at home. You always want to be avoid trying to remove lesions at home because, you can not always tell if it is a type of cancer and if it is removed without biopsy it will go undiagnosed and can progress without treatment.

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