At a Glance - Sebaceous gland hyperplasia vs milia
By Dr Jean Watkins, 03 March 2011
Dr Jean Watkins discusses the differences between sebaceous gland hyperplasia and milia in the newborn
Sebaceous gland hyperplasia
- Occurs in more than 50 per cent of newborn babies.
- Occurs less commonly in premature babies.
- Related to hormonal influences of maternal androgens on the pilosebaceous follicles leading to an increase of sebaceous cell numbers and volume.
- Regression of the lesions follows withdrawal of maternal hormones after delivery.
- Multiple white or yellow papules in areas where there are many sebaceous glands.
- Most commonly presents on the cheeks, upper lips and forehead.
- No treatment required.
- The lesions will resolve spontaneously within the first few months of life.
Milia presents as white globules on the chin, cheeks and forehead
- Occurs in 40 per cent of newborn babies.
- Small inclusion cysts containing keratin.
- May appear at birth or in infancy.
- Small, white pearly globules. May be 1-2mm in size.
- Usually present on the cheeks, chin, forehead or scalp.
- Larger single milia may occur in the region of the foreskin, scrotum or labia majora.
- Normally no treatment required.
- Lesions usually resolve spontaneously within a few weeks.
- The pricking out of the contents with a sterile needle or cryotherapy, which is sometimes done in older patients with the condition, seems unwarranted in babies.
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