Sebaceous Hyperplasia is a skin condition wherein the sebaceous glands (oil glands) protrude above the surface of the skin rather than remaining below the epidermis, where they reside normally. The condition appears as small to medium flesh-colored bumps (lesions) that are usually found in the areas of the face where there is the most oil. Although they may initially be mistaken for acne, there is no discharge or redness associated with these sebaceous gland lesions.
Treatments options for sebaceous hyperplasia may involve cryotherapy, excision, Accutane, electrodessication, as well as ablative and non-ablative lasers. A fairly recent, promising treatment involves Photodynamic therapy with AminoLevulinic Acid (ALA/PDT) which is safe for all skin types. Because ALA/PDT works directly on the sebaceous glands (sebocytes) and stays confined in the pilosebaceous units, this treatment is quite safe and effective. Most patients require an average of three treatments spaced 2 to 4 weeks apart.
Although ALA/PDT is not currently FDA approved for many of the conditions that it is routinely used for, research with ALA/PDT continues to push forward at an exciting pace. Using ALA/PDT for the treatment of sebaceous gland hyperplasia is an excellent option.
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer