Sebaceous hyperplasia features skin-colored to yellow-white elevations of the skin that are often seen on the forehead.
Sebaceous hyperplasia features skin-colored to yellow-white elevations of the skin that are often seen on the forehead.
The small, smooth elevations of the skin have a faint yellow-white color and can be very subtle in sebaceous hyperplasia.
The small, smooth elevations of the skin have a faint yellow-white color and can be very subtle in sebaceous hyperplasia.
Superficial sebaceous glands become more noticeable when the skin is stretched.
Superficial sebaceous glands become more noticeable when the skin is stretched.
This image displays collections of sebaceous glands on the skin that appear as whitish-to-yellow skin bumps.
This image displays collections of sebaceous glands on the skin that appear as whitish-to-yellow skin bumps.

Images of Sebaceous Hyperplasia (4)

Sebaceous hyperplasia features skin-colored to yellow-white elevations of the skin that are often seen on the forehead.
The small, smooth elevations of the skin have a faint yellow-white color and can be very subtle in sebaceous hyperplasia.
Superficial sebaceous glands become more noticeable when the skin is stretched.
This image displays collections of sebaceous glands on the skin that appear as whitish-to-yellow skin bumps.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common harmless enlargement of the skin oil glands.

Who's At Risk?

It usually occurs in middle-aged and older adults and is seen in about 1% of the US population.

About 10–16% of people on long-term cyclosporin A for organ transplants also develop sebaceous hyperplasia. There are a few families where multiple lesions begin to occur during puberty.

Signs & Symptoms

Lesions may be single or multiple. They are seen in areas where many oil glands are found – the face (nose, cheeks, and forehead), chest, upper arms, mouth lining, vulvar area, and around the nipples.

They are small (2–9 mm), painless, whitish-yellow-to-pink or skin-colored bumps, often with a central depression or dimple.

Take a picture of your skin condition with Aysa

Symptom checkers like Aysa can help narrow down possible skin conditions by analyzing a skin photo.

Self-Care Guidelines

No treatment is required. They will not go away on their own.

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Treatments

If there is doubt about the diagnosis, a biopsy may be done.

Many types of treatment can remove the lesions, with a small risk of leaving scars:

  • Burning (cautery)
  • Freezing (cryosurgery)
  • Applying topical chemicals
  • Applying a drug activated by light (photodynamic therapy)
  • Laser treatment
  • Cutting out the lesions (excision)

Visit Urgency

See your doctor:

  • If the lesions are irritated (by shaving, glasses, or clothing) or if they are cosmetically bothersome.
  • If you have many lesions (over 10) or if they are growing or bleeding.
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References

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.546-547, 1743. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed. pp.2541. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.