What are the treatment options for sebaceous hyperplasia?

Updated: Oct 05, 2020
  • Author: David T Robles, MD, PhD, FAAD; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Answer

Sebaceous hyperplasia is completely benign and does not require treatment; however, lesions can be cosmetically unfavorable and sometimes bothersome when irritated. Treatments are mostly mechanical. Lesions tend to recur unless the entire unit is destroyed or excised. Risk of permanent scarring must be considered when treating benign lesions.

A biopsy may be necessary if concern exists that the lesion is a basal cell carcinoma.

Therapeutic options include photodynamic therapy (with combined use of 5-aminolevulinic acid and visible light), [32, 33] cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen), cauterization or electrodesiccation, [34] topical chemical treatments (eg, with bichloracetic acid or trichloroacetic acid), [35] laser treatment (eg, with argon, carbon dioxide, or pulsed-dye laser), [36, 37] shave excision, and excision. Complications of these nonspecific destructive therapies include atrophic scarring or transient dyspigmentation.


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