Microdermabrasion for Sebaceous Hyperplasia?

I have a problem with sebaceous hyperplasia (hardened sebaceous glands) on my face. Will Microdermabrasion treatments help reduce the size of these areas?

Doctor Answers 3

Treatment of sebaceous hyperplasia

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There may be some slight benefit to microdermabrasion, but generally speaking electrosurgery by your dermatologist or plastic surgeon provides the best results. Any time of year is fine, as long as you wear sunscreen during the healing process. That said, over time/with age, you will collect new sebaceous hyperplasia on the face and so treatments every few years will be needed as maintenance.

Toronto Dermatologic Surgeon

Microdermabrasion is not helpful for sebaceous hyperplasia.

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When sebaceous hyperplasia (benign enlargement of facial oil-glands) becomes a cosmetic problem, you can have them shaved off, or treated with light electrosurgery.

Procedures like this are best performed after the summer, and patient satisfaction is very high.

I hope this helps, and best regards.

Eric M. Joseph, MD
West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 435 reviews

Much Better Treatments Available

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Microdermabrasion would be a poor choice to rid yourself of sebaceous hyperplasia. Incidentally, this is one condition that seems to worsen with age. I remember picking up this tidbit during medical school. There are supposedly two glands which enlarge as you get older: the prostate gland and the sebaceous gland.

Anyway, microdermabrasion will do little, if anything, for sebaceous gland hyperplasia. There are a variety of treatments available. I like 85% trichloracetic acid. The acid dissolves the fatty sebaceous gland, but the collagen of the dermis is resistant. It is a good, relatively painless, inexpensive choice.

Also, buzzing them with a bit of low current electrocautery will make them dissolve.

If you have other skin issues, then photodynamic therapy may help. Donald Richey wrote about this in Dermatology Clinics (2007) and Tina Alster described this method a few years before that.

If you have some recalcitrant acne with these lesions, a five month course of Accutane will bet rid of these troublesome growths permanently. This treatment is overkill for sebaceous gland hyperplasia by itself.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist

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