Sebaceous Hyperplasia


Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common harmless enlargement of the skin oil glands that arises most often in middle-aged or older adults.  There are rare cases where the condition occurs during puberty. Could you be suffering from this condition?  Contact Us To Schedule An Appointment! 


Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common harmless enlargement of the oil glands in which they become enlarged.  This disease is most common in middle-aged or older adults though sebaceous hyperplasia may occur in newborns.  When an oil gland becomes enlarged it protrudes to the surface of the skin and is visible as a soft, small papule, that is depressed in the center.  Lesions can be single or multiple and present as slightly white, flesh or yellow colored and appear most often on the forehead or cheeks.  Sebaceous hyperplasia is a harmless condition that is benign (non-cancerous), may be temporary, and does not require medical treatment.  

Causes of Sebaceous Hyperplasia:

The exact cause of sebaceous hyperplasia is not known.  The disease is hereditary and does have a tendency to run in families.  Sebaceous hyperplasia is not contagious.  It is thought to be caused by a decrease in the circulating levels of androgen associated with aging.  A co-factor of this condition may be ultraviolet radiation (sun exposure) because sebaceous hyperplasia occasionally occurs on areas of the body where sun exposure is common.  Risk factors for this disease are exposure to the sun, a history of contracting sebaceous hyperplasia, an increased number of basal cells, aging, and/or an immune system defect.

Signs and Symptoms of Sebaceous Hyperplasia:

Signs of this condition will usually begin with small painless lesions, whitish-yellow-to-pink or skin-colored bumps, often with a central depression or dimple.  Lesions may be singular or multiple and are seen wherever many oil glands are found – the face (nose, cheeks, forehead), chest, upper arms, mouth lining, vulvar area, and around the nipples. Acne is often commonly seen along with this condition, and the hairs on the skin's surface may become very dry.

Treatment of Sebaceous Hyperplasia:

This condition does not require medical treatment unless the area becomes painful, infected, and/or bleeding.  Many individuals seek treatment of sebaceous hyperplasia for cosmetic purposes.  Several types of therapy that treat sebaceous hyperplasia include:

  • Freezing (crysorugery)
  • Burning with electric cautery
  • Applying topical chemicals
  • Applying a drug activated by light (photodynamic therapy)
  • Laser treatment
  • Cutting out the lesion(s) (excising)
Is Treatment Covered by Insurance?

No, unless there is a medically necessary reason for treatment i.e. bleeding or infection.

Additional Resources:
Sebaceous Hyperplasia