Sebaceous hyperplasia is a disorder of the sebaceous glands in which they become enlarged. These glands are located within the skin and are responsible for secreting an oily substance named sebum. They are commonly associated with hair follicles but they can be found in hairless regions of the skin as well. Their secretion lubricates the skin, protecting it from drying out or becoming irritated.
Sebaceous hyperplasia generally affects middle-aged to elderly adults. The symptoms of this condition are 1-5 mm papules on the skin, mainly on the forehead, nose and cheeks, and sebarrhoeic facial skin. The papules may be cauliflower-shaped. Acne is also a symptom of this glandular disorder. It differs from the type of acne that affects adolescents and young adults, in that it is more of an abnormally discolored patch that is not cured by topical treatments alone.
A dermatologist may use an instrument called a hyfrecator, which emits electrical impulses directly into the affected areas. This is a somewhat painful treatment, and may cause reddening of the skin, but it usually causes the problem to subside after a few days. Often confused with acne and treated with acne medication, this will do little to nothing to help the condition.