There are several conditions affecting the sebaceous glands, some of which may be considered cosmetic and therefore can be treated here at Evolutions Clinic in Hampshire.
What Are The Sebaceous Glands?
The sebaceous glands produce an oily waxy substance called sebum which lubricates and waterproofs the surface of the skin. This along with skin debris is excreted and makes it’s way to the surface of the skin. Sebaceous glands cover the exterior of the body with the exception of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Some areas of the body have more sebaceous glands than others. The face and scalp have the most and therefore when sebaceous gland problems occur they are usually more noticeable in these areas.
Benign conditions of the sebaceous glands
There are several conditions which affect the sebaceous glands which can form unsightly skin lesions but which are benign and treatable. Though these sebaceous gland disorders can not always be cured, they can be managed.
Acne is a combination of keratin in the form of dead skin cells building up inside the sebaceous gland and the proliferation of Propionbacterium acnes bacteria. The bacteria, which can survive without oxygen becomes trapped in the pore by dead skin cells. This causes the classic symptoms of inflammation and pustules. Usually starts during adolescence but may occur in adulthood as well. Unfortunately simply using antibacterial products won’t be effective and these products can often be over drying.
More about treatment for Acne>>
Comedones or blackheads are formed by keratin in the form of dead skin cells forming inside the pore and combining with sebum. Over keratinisation of the pores is common in adolescents and this along with excess oil production is usually related to hormonal activity. This condition may or may not lead to acne, but either way it can be a huge cosmetic problem for the sufferer, leading to low self esteem. Often the sufferer may resort to squeezing which can scar or harsh scrubs to exfoliate, which can over stimulate the oil glands making the problem worse.
Sebaceous Hyperplasia is most commonly seen in people of middle age or older. It presents as yellowish papules most commonly on the face and scalp. The condition often coexists with more serious conditions such as Torre Muire syndrome but on it’s own is not an indicator of Torre Muire or any other condition. It is a completely benign skin condition that has no specific known cause but a number of factors contribute towards someone developing it. These may include UV radiation exposure, age related reduction in androgen activity, long term immunosuppression in transplant patients.
Simple effective treatment for Sebaceous Hyperplasia>>
Sebaceous cyst (Epidermoid cyst) is not usually a cyst in a sebaceous gland despite what the name implies. Epidermoid or sebaceous cysts are usually a build up of a mixture of keratin (a type of protein) and fat. This builds up inside a sac under the skin. When having sebaceous cysts treated it is often better to have the cyst surgically removed including the sac. If the sac is left behind, the cyst may re-grow.
Cancerous lesions affecting the sebaceous glands
There are several uncommon malignancies of the sebaceous glands. Medical treatment must be sought for these. These conditions fall outside the scope of what can be treated cosmetically at Evolutions Skin Clinic so we won’t go in to detail about these lesions.
- Sebaceous adenoma
- Sebaceous epithelioma (sebaceoma)
- Sebaceous carcinoma
- Basal cell carcinoma with sebaceous differentiation
- Sebocrine adenoma
We recommend The Walcote Practice Private GP in Winchester who can offer fast track referral for skin cancer>>