In your practice
As skin care professionals, our clients will come to us for advice on a variety of skin related issues. In this role, one of our key responsibilities is to address their questions and concerns with knowledge and empathy.
Common and harmless lesions such as sebaceous hyperplasia are a great starting point to engage with your clients about a common skin condition that may distress them, how the aging process affects the skin, and educate them on related prevention and treatment options.
What is Sebaceous Hyperplasia?
Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common and benign condition of the sebaceous glands. You can identify this condition most often when examining your middle aged and mature clientele. Clients who are current or previous sun lovers, especially those with oily skin, are particularly prone to the condition.
As per its name, sebaceous hyperplasia develops from the body’s sebaceous glands. Microscopic sebaceous glands on the skin are made up of cells called sebocytes. These cells secrete the waxy, oily substance known as sebum. Sebum acts as a lubricant which softens the skin and hair, while also serving as a waterproof shield.
Sebaceous hyperplasia develops when these glands become enlarged (hyperplasia) due to sebum clogging their ducts, causing gland growth.
What do Sebaceous Hyperplasia look like and where do they occur?
Sebaceous hyperplasia appear as tiny bumps (papules) which range in colour from flesh-coloured to a yellowish tint. These papules can either be solitary or could appear in clusters. They have a soft texture and are slightly yellow in color
Papules are generally about 2-5 cm in size and do not grow in size over time. They often have an indented center, giving them their distinct “donut style” appearance.
You will mostly frequently find sebaceous hyperplasia on your clients’ cheeks and foreheads. As these are noticeably visible areas, their appearance can be upsetting to your clients who can deem them unattractive. Besides these common regions, sebaceous hyperplasia can also often occur on the chest, areola, neck, oral mucosa, as well as in the genital areas.
What are the contributing causes of sebaceous hyperplasia?
As mentioned, you will notice that many of your clients who exhibit sebaceous hyperplasia are older individuals. One of the reasons why the condition develops more commonly in older people is because of decreased levels of androgens.
Androgens are hormones that play a crucial role in male reproductivity and masculine traits. However, although androgens are dubbed ‘the male hormones’ they are found in both males and females. With advancing age, the level of androgens in our body decreases.
The cells of sebaceous glands (sebocytes) are greatly affected by the levels of androgens in the body. When androgen levels in the body are lower than normal, there is build-up of sebocytes and sebum over time which blocks the glands. Due to the blockage, the glands enlarge in size resulting in sebaceous hyperplasia.
Therefore, any factor that affects the androgen levels in the body may cause sebaceous hyperplasia. One of the key factors that affects the body’s androgen levels is aging. This is why clients over 40 years of age are at an increased risk of having decreased androgen levels.
Certain medications can also lower the androgen levels in the body. Cyclosporine A, which is used for immunosuppression, and is of concern in this regard due its direct effects on the pilosebaceous unit, the structure consisting of hair, hair follicle, arrector pili muscle and sebaceous gland.
In some cases, clients who have sebaceous hyperplasia may have a family history of the condition. This is because sebaceous hyperplasia could develop due to genetic reasons. Clients who have a family history of sebaceous hyperplasia may develop the condition at an earlier age.
Finally, sunlight has also been seen as a cofactor in the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia, with constant sun exposure having the potential to heighten the risk and severity of the condition.
Prevention strategies for sebaceous hyperplasia
There is no preventive strategy to ward off sebaceous hyperplasia. This, in part, is due to its genetic nature which could be seen in some clients, as well as the inevitably of the aging process. However, as a healthy lifestyle is essential for a person’s overall well-being, you can explain to your clients the importance of eating a balanced diet and forming a healthy skin care routine.
Regular exercise can also help to invigorate the skin and keep it healthy. Avoiding hormone-affecting food, such as red meat and cheese, can be suggested to clients who wish to make changes in their diet. Staying out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods may also help reduce the risk and severity of the condition.
Traditional Therapies for Sebaceous Hyperplasia
Although sebaceous hyperplasia is a benign condition, it can be distressing to clients for cosmetic reasons, so many people try to alleviate the problem with home made remedies.
Some homemade products that may serve as remedies include lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, peppermint oil, mint juice, turmeric powder, red clover extract, and witch hazel. Products that contain retinol or salicylic acid can also be used to treat lesions and could shrink the glands and unclog pores. The results of such treatments can be very mixed and unreliable though.
Modern Treatment for Sebaceous Hyperplasia
Current treatments for sebaceous hyperplasia involve mostly mechanical therapies that may require a few sessions to have some effect.
These therapies include photodynamic therapy, laser therapy, shave excision, and topical chemical treatments. Retinol and facial peels are also used for treatment.
Some of these treatments may involve affecting the skin area where the papules exhibit, while others (such as shave excision) may involve a risk of scarring, as well.
You should ensure that your clients have all the information they need to manage the condition in the future. Let them know that the lesions may recur and that a combination of skin care therapies and prevention steps may promote a smoother complexion.
LAMPROBE Treatments – Sebaceous Hyperplasia
Sebaceous hyperplasia can be treated by the LAMPROBE very highly effective, in a single session. Well respected and appreciated in the professional skin care industry, the LAMPROBE is a device that enables modern skin care practitioners to non-invasively and rapidly treat sebaceous hyperplasia and other such common Minor Skin Irregularities™ that your clients are seeking treating for.
Emitting a radio frequency current, the LAMPROBE evaporates the lipids comprising the sebaceous hyperplasia papules upon contact. LAMPROBE treatments take only seconds to carry out and the results are instant. LAMPROBE treatments can also be conducted with pinpoint precision. Each individual papule can be treated without any affect on surrounding skin. Using a LAMPROBE, modern skin care practitioners can smoothly and safely eradicate their clients’ sebaceous hyperplasia.
LAMPROBE treatment prices for sebaceous hyperplasia can vary with the lesions’ size or quantity, as with all Minor Skin Irregularities™ treated with the LAMPROBE. LAMPROBE practitioners, also known as LAMPROBERs, charge between $35-60+ per papule. As sebaceous hyperplasia can often appear in groups of lesions, a LAMPROBE practitioner may offer a discount for all irregularities treated in a localized area.
LAMPROBE treatments on sebaceous hyperplasia are rapid and instantly effective. It is important to inform your client, however, that while the irregularities treated will disappear, if the individual is prone to that condition (where due to age, genetics, or medication etc) the condition may reappear at a future date.
The good news is that if the irregularities do reappear in the future, they can be swiftly be treated again with the LAMPROBE!
Sebaceous hyperplasia is a superficial skin condition that affects a high proportion of middle-aged people and beyond. While painless and harmless, the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia can become a major concern for your clients, as individuals today continuously seek to achieve flawless skin.
With your middle age and older clients, it’s a good idea to educate them on potential conditions they may encounter was they mature such as sebaceous hyperplasia. While there is no standard treatment prevention strategy for sebaceous hyperplasia, you can offer helpful tips to maintain a lifestyle, diet and skin care routine that supports healthy skin.
Ensuring that your knowledge and tools are at the highest levels can help you produce amazing results for your clients. This can also enable you to anticipate their needs before the occurrence of any condition.
Communicating well with clients about sebaceous hyperplasia and other common skin conditions can help them feel at ease when sharing their health issues and concerns. Over time, they will value and trust your professional judgement and insight. This can blossom into a wonderful partnership between you and your clients!
Posted in Sebaceous Minor Skin Irregularities