Sebaceous gland hyperplasia is a benign proliferation of the sebaceous glands.1 Patients with this condition may describe asymptomatic, yellow, shiny bumps on the forehead, cheeks, or near the hair line. Characteristically these lesions are dome-shaped papules with a central umbilication.2 Lesions can occur throughout the integument but most commonly arise on areas of photodamage on the chest, upper neck, and face in middle-aged and elderly people.1 Several variants of sebaceous hyperplasia have been reported including familial form, giant form of 10 mm in diameter, and those in a linear arrangement.3 The underlying pathologic mechanism is unknown; however, lesion formation is associated with ultraviolet irradiation, advanced age, and immunosuppressive therapy. Treatment with cyclosporine alone or in combination with corticosteroids may induce lesion formation.3

Lesions typically appear as a pink-to-white firm papule ranging from 5 to 10 mm in diameter with sharp demarcated borders. The surface of the papules appear smooth and shiny.3 Dermatoscopy may help differentiate sebaceous hyperplasia from other disorders such as molluscum contagiosum, sebaceous carcinoma, sebaceous adenoma, and basal cell carcinoma.1 Dermatoscopic examination reveals yellowish-white clods or lobules with linear vessels between or above the clods exhibiting a reticular distribution.3 Shave biopsy with histopathologic examination can rule out basal cell carcinoma and establish the diagnosis of sebaceous hyperplasia.2,3

Current therapies used for treatment include bichloroacetic acid, cryotherapy, shave excision, electrodessication, and laser ablation.1 In refractory cases, oral isotretinoin has been shown to be effective.4


  1. Hogan D, Mohammad S. Sebaceous hyperplasia. Expert Rev Dermatol. 2011;6(1):91-96.
  2.  Higgins JC, Maher MH, Douglas, MS. Diagnosing common benign skin tumors. Am Fam Physician. 2015;92(7):601-607.
  3. Sato T, Tanaka M. Linear sebaceous hyperplasia on the chest. Dermatol Pract Concept. 2014;4(1):93-95.
  4. Yu C, Shahsavari M, Stevens G, Liskanich R, Horowitz D. Isotretinoin as monotherapy for sebaceous hyperplasia. J Drugs Dermatol. 2010;9(6):699-701.
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