How to get rid of sebaceous hyperplasia ?
WHAT IS SEBACEOUS HYPERPLASIA?
Sebaceous hyperplasia is the technical name for a benign bump on the skin that forms over time as a result of damage to a pore caused by unknown factors. Randomly, a damaged oil gland (and often more than one) can become enlarged and clogged in a very specifc manner, displaying a soft or firm white or yellowish outer rim typically with a tiny to wide depressed center. The depressed center of these bumps is one of the primary ways you can tell you’re
dealing with sebaceous hyperplasia, and not with something else such as a whitehead (milia, discussed above) or pimple.
It’s not uncommon to have several of these bumps at once, sometimes spaced apart, but they can be clustered, too. Sebaceous hyperplasia is most often seen on the forehead and central part of the face, but can appear anywhere
on the body, especially in areas where the skin has more oil glands.
Cumulative sun damage is considered a co-factor of this condition becaus sunlight further damages skin and oil glands. That’s one more reason to make sure you’re protecting your skin every day with a well-formulated sunscreen! It’s also typically seen in people who have struggled with oily skin and large pores most of their lives, so getting this problem under control sooner rather than later is also important.
HOW TO GET RID OF SEBACEOUS HYPERPLASIA
Treating sebaceous hyperplasia usually requires a visit to the dermatologist, but now there are products available you can use at home to try and get these unsightly bumps under control—at the very least, you’ll achieve noticeable improvement in skin tone and texture!
A dermatologist has several options for treating sebaceous hyperplasia. Before you consider any of them, however, know that, like many other skin disorders, sebaceous hyperplasia cannot be cured, only controlled. The bump can
be reduced or eliminated, but the aﬀected oil gland likely will produce a new bump if treatment isn’t maintained, and even then it can recur. Therefore, even if you decide to see a dermatologist for treatment, you’ll want to ensure
your at-home skincare routine includes products to keep these bumps at bay, at least to the extent possible from skincare products.
When you visit a dermatologist for sebaceous hyperplasia, he or she may oﬀer the following treatments, alone or in combination:
» Facial peels—This involves using salicylic acid or trichloroacetic acid (TCA).
» Electric needle—This causes the bump to break down and ooze, forming a scab that falls oﬀ in a week or so.
» Photodynamic therapy (PDT)—This is a light-emitting treatment where the skin is pre-treated with a special gel that reacts with the light. This option often requires several ofce visits.
» Liquid nitrogen—This potent option can be eﬀective, but it’s also risky because if it penetrates too deeply, you may be left with a scar or loss of skin pigment.
» Prescription retinoid or azelaic acid—These treatments are intended to reduce the appearance of the lesions, but they won’t eliminate the problem.
» Surgical excision of the bump—This may lead to scarring, but the bump won’t recur in the excised area. This is considered a last-resort option.
» Antiandrogen medication—This reduces testosterone, which may be stimulating enlargement of the oil glands. Examples of these medications arespironolactone or ﬂutamide. This, like surgical excision, is a last resort.
Note: Some sebaceous hyperplasia bumps can resemble a type of skin cancer known as basal cell carcinoma. Your dermatologist will need to examine the area to make an accurate diagnosis. If you’re unsure, don’t assume it’s
not skin cancer.
SKINCARE FOR SEBACEOUS HYPERPLASIA
What about options outside the dermatologist’s ofce? Although treating sebaceous hyperplasia yourself can be frustrating, and in almost all cases a dermatologist’s care is required, there are a few key products to consider.
Chief among them is a product we’re very proud of, one that Paula uses for her sebaceous hyperplasia, and that’s the Resist BHA 9 . This clear, liquid-like solution contains a 9% concentration of salicylic acid. Despite its strength,
it’s still extremely gentle due to its time-release formula. Salicylic acid penetrates the oil buildup in the pore lining, increases cell turnover by exfoliating the surface of the skin as well as inside the pore to unclog these bumps, and
reduces inﬂammation, all of which can diminish these bumps. There’s no research directly linking salicylic acid in skincare products to treating sebaceous hyperplasia, but in theory and, as we’ve seen, in practice, it can and often does help a great deal!
You also can consider products that contain lower amounts of salicylic acid, but most cases of sebaceous hyperplasia won’t respond as well to lower strengths; however, they can be extremely benefcial for daily maintenance all over the face. Most people struggling with sebaceous hyperplasia have other bumps and breakouts that can be successfully treated with lower concentrations of salicylic acid.
Other products to consider are those that contain retinol. Research has shown that retinol, which is another name for vitamin A, either in over-thecounter skincare products or in various prescription forms such as Tazorac or Retin-A, can reshape the pore lining and restore more normal pore function and size. Retinol works to control the growth of skin cells that can clog the pore lining, and encourages normal oil production.
These factors, plus retinol’s anti-inﬂammatory action, theoretically make it a powerful option to combine with salicylic acid for treating sebaceous hyperplasia.
Another skincare ingredient that may help improve sebaceous hyperplasia is the B vitamin niacinamide. This cell-communicating ingredient oﬀers multiple benefts to skin, such as reducing inﬂammation and oil proliferation that
accompany sebaceous hyperplasia. Products containing salicylic acid, retinol, and niacinamide can be used once or twice daily after cleansing, and may help reduce sebaceous hyperplasia!
What about scrubs? No scrub in the world, regardless of claim or price, can remove these bumps. Sebaceous hyperplasia forms deep within the skin right at the base of the oil gland itself; scrubs simply cannot reach the source of the problem.
Warning: Zealously trying to scrub away these bumps can lead to other skin issues, such as dryness, redness, and irritation.
RECOMMENDED PRODUCTS FOR SEBACEOUS HYPERPLASIA:
The list of products that can successfully treat sebaceous hyperplasia is fairly short, largely because most people dealing with sebaceous hyperplasia will require treatment from a dermatologist. These bumps rarely resolve on
their own no matter what you use topically. However, skincare can play a role in terms of maintenance and in improving the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia. The products below are those that can exfoliate inside the pore lining, unclog pores, and inﬂuence the pore lining, in the hope that they not only will reduce sebaceous hyperplasia but also prevent, to the extent possible, new bumps from forming.
- Olay Regenerist Regenerating Serum Fragrance-Free (contains a high amount of niacinamide)
- Nia24 Skin Strengthening Complex (contains a high amount of niacinamide)
- Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
- Paula’s Choice Resist BHA 9 ( contains 9% salicylic acid)
- SkinCeuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refning Night Cream
- SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.25
- SkinMedica Retinol Complex 0.5