Sebaceous Hyperplasia - Non invasive treatment at Anika Skincare. Facial products to help and prevent sebaceous hyperplasia available at

Sebaceous Hyperplasia - what is it, what does it look like, and what are possible treatments for it?

July 09, 2021

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Have you noticed that yellowish or flesh-colors bumps have appeared on your skin? If so, you may be experiencing sebaceous hyperplasia. These bumps are usually appear on the face, particularly the forehead and the nose. They are small, usually between 2 to 4 millimeters wide, and are painless.  They are often mistaken for basal carcinoma usually are red or pink and much larger. A doctor can do a biopsy of the bump to determine which it is. 

Now what exactly is sebaceous hyperplasia?  Well, sebaceous glands are attached to hair follicles all over your body and they release sebum onto your skin's surface.  Sebum is a mixture of fats and cell debris that helps to keep your skin flexible and hydrated. Sebaceous hyperplasia occurs when the sebaceous glands become enlarged with trapped sebum. This creates the shiny bumps that appear on the skin.  While these bumps are harmless, people often treat them for cosmetic reasons.


While the main symptom of sebaceous hyperplasia is the appearance of small , shiny bumps under the skin, there are other symptoms to look out for. A bump usually can have a slight indentation in the center and a white or yellow outer edge. While typically occurs on the face, there have also been reports of sebaceous hyperplasia appearing across many parts of the body.  It can sometimes be difficult to separate this condition from acne because they can appear to be similar. However, acne forms when a person's follicles become blocked , and oil builds up under the skin. Sebaceous hyperplasia occurs in the sebaceous gland itself.


This condition is most common in middle aged or older people, especially those with fair skin. There is also a genetic component as it often happens to people with a family history of it. In addition to this, people with Muir-Torre syndrome often develop sebaceous hyperplasia. Sebaceous hyperplasia is almost always harmless, however, it can be a sign of a tumor in people with Muir-Torre syndrome. People who are taking the immunosuppressant medication cyclosporine  ( Sandimmune ) are more likely to develop sebaceous hyperplasia.

Treatment Options

While sebaceous hyperplasia doesn't require treatment, many people will if the bumps are bothersome or for cosmetics reasons. There are several options for removing the glands or controlling the sebum buildup.

  • Electrocautery : Here at Anika Skincare we use a radiofrequency device that does this. It is safe, non invasive, for all skin types and tones. When a charge of electricity is used to burn the bump. The skin will scab over and fall away, leaving behind a smooth area. This method of treatment may cause skin pigment changes in the affected area. 
  • Laser Therapy : A dermatologist may recommend removing the lesions using CO2 laser therapy. This can reduce the thickness of lesions and result in smoother skin without notable scarring.
  • Cryotherapy: a doctor can remove  sebaceous hyperplasia bumps in a process called cryotherapy. The doctor will freeze the bumps, causing them to dry up and drop away. However, cryotherapy can potentially cause changes in skin color in the affected area.
  • Retinol: retinol is a form of vitamin A that may help with a range of skin related issues. Prescription retinoids are often recommended for people with sebaceous hyperplasia. However regular application is required for it to work as intended. At Anika skincare we carry a brand called " Essential Dermaceuticals" there is a very popular Retinol A mixed with lactic acid and other natural ingredients that would help with sebaceous hyperplasia  as well as aging skin , mild acne, sun damaged skin types. Skin Renewal PM Advanced Resurfacing Serum with Retinol, Lactic and Glycolic
  • Facial Peels: a facial peel may contain chemicals such as salicylic acid. Chemical facial peels can cause irritation, redness and sensitivity. This can aggravate sebaceous hyperplasia if the person does not receive proper aftercare.  Anika Skincare offers salicylic facial pads that can be safely used at home to help improve the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia. 

While there is no way to prevent sebaceous hyperplasia, there are ways to reduce your risk of getting it. One way is to wash your face with a cleanser that has salicylic acid or low levels of retinol. This can help your sebaceous glands from clogging. Sebaceous hyperplasia is also linked to sun exposure, so by staying out of the sun, you can also prevent it. When you're out in the sun, you can use sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 and wear a hat to protect your scalp and face. 


Here are some skincare product suggestions :

Gentle facial cleanser with Salicylic acid - Purify Salicylic Facial Cleanser by Essential Dermaceuticals 

Suntegrity   - Safe natural vegan and organic suncare products for face and body


Teresa Paquin, Licensed NH Aesthetician and Makeup Artist -  offers skincare and makeup consultations by phone for individuals who cannot come into the Hudson, NH location. Or, have product questions. See what Anika clients are saying! Testimonies . Please call 603.595.0224. Appointment only Monday through Saturday. No walk-in's please.



Licensed Esthetician Teresa Paquin- Microcurrent Specialist

 Teresa's background and education 

Teresa has worked in the makeup industry since she was 19 years old. Her education was in Boston and NYC in Film, TV, and Fashion & Beauty makeup. Teresa’s work has  been featured in national magazines where she also served as a Beauty Contributor for Allured Publishing in the beauty industry. She was chosen by Allured Publishing to be their Creative Director for several years, creating the covers of their magazines, doing the model makeup, choosing the photographers, models and themes according to their editorial calendar. She has been a freelance Makeup Artist for film, television, weddings, beauty makeovers which included teaching beauty industry professionals classes. 

In addition to her makeup work, Teresa is a skincare formulator, and NH Aesthetician, where she provides skincare and makeup services for her NH & MA clients, and operates an e-commerce beauty store.