Sebaceous Hyperplasia

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What is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common benign growth of the sebaceous (oil) glands. It most commonly occurs in middle-aged or in older people, especially those with oily skin. It presents as single or multiple yellowish white bumps on the forehead, cheeks and nose. These bumps can occasionally occur on other areas of the body as well.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

What causes Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

The exact cause of sebaceous hyperplasia is not known. It is thought to be associated with changes in circulating androgen hormones as a person ages.

Signs and Symptoms

Sebaceous hyperplasia appears as small whitish-yellow bumps, 1 to 3 mm in diameter. The bumps have a centrally placed tiny pit and, in some cases, visible blood vessels. They are soft to touch. Sebaceous hyperplasia tends to persist without treatment.


Sebaceous hyperplasia is a benign condition and no treatment is required. Individuals usually seek treatments for it due to cosmetic reasons. If it is bothering you, it can be treated with physical methods such as cryotherapy, fine wire diathermy, laser ablation, shave or surgical excision. However, these treatments carry a risk of scarring and in some cases changes in pigmentation. Creams and topical therapies are usually not helpful. Severe and extensive cases may be treated with oral isotretinoin (vitamin A medicine that dries up the oil glands) and antiandrogens (in females).