Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 49 EP811 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP811

Sebaceous hyperplasia and androgen levels-still controversial

Anca E Chiriac1, Anca Chiriac2,3 & Doina Azoicai1


1University of Medicine and Pharmacy, “Grigore T Popa”, Iasi, Romania; 2Apollonia University, Iasi, Romania; 3Nicolina Medical Center, Iasi, Romania; 4“P Poni” Research Institute, Iasi, Romania.


: Sebaceous glands are very sensitive to androgens which can modify the size but not the number of sebaceous glands. Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common benign proliferation of the sebaceous glands seen during the first weeks of life, being reported in 89.4% of 1000 newborns enrolled in across-sectional prospective study in the period of November 2007 to May 2009 in India [1] or in 35% of 2938 neonates aged up to three days of life hospitalized in a Brazilian city [2]. Sebum secretion is high in neonates probably induced by maternal androgen: dehydroepiandrosterone transferred trans-placental. [3] It is also named “the miniature puberty of the newborn” along with vaginal bleeding in infant girls and neonatal acne. Reduced androgen levels in elderly could explain hyperplasia of sebaceous glands (slower cell turnover), especially in women while high androgen-dependent sebum secretion in neonates results in neonatal sebaceous hyperplasia. The association between sebaceous hyperplasia and androgens has been demonstrated in animal models [5], but no correlation was found between serum androgen levels and the appearance of sebaceous hyperplasia lesions in women [6].Controversial data exist and further clinical studies are required.

Table 1 Differences between neonatal and adult form of sebaceous hyperplasia [4].
Neonatal sebaceous gland hyperplasiaAdult sebaceous gland hyperplasia
Age of onsetFirst weeks of lifeMiddle age-elderly persons
Gender: males/females1.08/1
Sites of skin lesionsnoseforehead,genitalia, areola, chest
Androgen levelshighlow/normal (hyper-receptivity)
EvolutionSpontaneously remission within weeksprogressive evolution without treatment

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