Nevus Sebaceous: What You Should Know

What Is Nevus Sebaceous?

Nevus sebaceous is a common skin condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It causes dry, flaky, scaly patches on your body. These patches are usually located on your face and neck but they may appear anywhere on your body. They are not contagious and do not cause any symptoms in healthy individuals. However, it is possible that some people with this condition develop skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).

The most common symptom of nevus sebaceous is redness and irritation around the affected area. Other symptoms include itching, burning sensation and swelling. Sometimes these symptoms worsen when exposed to sunlight.

Some people experience no signs at all.

How Do People Get Nevus Sebum?

People with nevus sebaceous have inherited a gene mutation which results in the production of excessive amounts of sebum. This excess sebum coats their bodies causing them to get irritated easily. When they come into contact with other people, this irritating behavior leads to skin irritation and sometimes even skin cancer. The problem is that people don’t realize how much sebum they produce until it affects their health. It takes years of overproduction and exposure to the sun before this condition gets bad enough for doctors to notice.

A Common Cause Of Skin Cancer

Since the skin produces too much sebum oil, our skin gets dried out and cracked with age. This makes it easier to acquire cancer-causing agents such as the sun and other sources. Most people with sebaceous nevus syndrome have a family history of skin cancer.

If you have this condition, it is important to regularly monitor your skin for any potential signs of cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer around the world. Since the sebum builds up on your skin, it acts as a protective barrier and prevents the buildup of dangerous rays that may lead to skin cancer. Your body then produces more sebum to counteract the buildup of harmful rays.

This cycle may lead to skin cancer.

Treating Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is usually treated by curing the particular type of cancer. The method of treatment depends on the type and location of the cancer. Most types of skin cancer are usually cured with a surgical operation.

The cancerous cells are removed and the wound is stitched up. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be used in addition to surgery. Unfortunately, skin cancer has a high relapse rate. Some types such as SCC have a high risk of metastasis and may spread to other parts of the body.

Skin Cancer Prevention

Skin cancer can be prevented by avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun. If you have to spend extended periods of time in the sun, it is important to use sunscreen lotion with at least an SPF of 30. It’s also a good idea to wear a hat and protective clothing.

When you go outside, make sure to apply sunscreen every two hours or so and reapply it after swimming or excessive sweating.

Curing Skin Cancer

Skin cancer can be cured if detected early enough. The best way to do this is to have a medical examination every six months or so. During these examinations, your doctor will check for any potential signs of skin cancer by visually inspecting the different parts of your body.

You should also perform regular self-examinations to check for any changes in the skin such as moles, freckles, spots or open sores that do not heal after three weeks. If you notice anything that seems abnormal, see a doctor immediately.

Skin cancer treatments range from topical creams to surgery and even chemotherapy in severe cases. If the cancer is caught in its early stages, it is fairly easy to treat. However, if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it can only be cured with aggressive treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Even with treatment, skin cancer has a high relapse rate and can come back even after years of being dormant.

Sebaceous carcinoma

Sebaceous carcinoma is a rare type of cancer that usually affects the elderly. It is characterized by a relatively large swelling with an irregular shape. A sebaceous carcinoma starts as a painless, scaly patch of skin which gradually swells and takes on a waxy consistency.

If you have this condition, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible since it has a high rate of metastasis.

Basal cell carcinoma

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It starts as a small red bump that may resemble a pimple or cyst. As the cancer grows, the red bump becomes larger and may look shiny or pearly in appearance.

If the cancer has invaded the surrounding tissue, it will begin to cause pain and sometimes drain fluid. This type of cancer can be treated by surgically removing the growth with some surrounding tissue. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, other treatments such as chemotherapy may be used.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It usually appears as a scaly red patch or growth, but in its later stages it may become an ulcerated open sore. The cancer will eventually begin to bleed and may cause pain.

This cancer is usually treated by surgically cutting out the growth along with some of the surrounding tissue. If this cancer has spread to other parts of the body, it may be treated with other medical therapies such as chemotherapy.


Melanoma is a common but dangerous type of skin cancer. It usually appears on the skin as a dark brown, black or blue patch but it may sometimes be hard to see since it can have the same color as the rest of the skin. This type of cancer begins in melanocytes (cells that produces skin color).

Although most skin cancers appear gradually, melanomas can appear very quickly and grow rapidly. Any changes in size, shape or color of a mole should be reported to your doctor immediately.

Cutaneous Horn

Cutaneous horn, also known as cornu cutanea tumea), is a growth that arises from the skin due to excessive stimulation of the skin’s root cells. They most commonly form in middle-aged women and appear as a growing lump, usually on the arms or legs. They are benign (not cancerous) but can be painful and slow growing.

They are treated by surgically removing them.


Folliculitis is a condition that affects hair follicles and results in small, red, pus-filled spots. There are two types: hot and cold. Hot folliculitis is caused by a bacterial infection and may be worsened by shaving.

Hot water opens up the pores, allowing the bacteria to enter the hair follicle. Bacterial infection can also occur when the skin is damaged by scratching or rubbing. Hot water can also cause cold folliculitis, which is most commonly seen in swimmers or people who sweat a lot. The condition is sometimes called “swimmer’s itch” and can be prevented by drying the skin and bathing in warm, not hot water. Cold folliculitis is caused by a virus and is generally not harmful.

Folliculitis is generally not serious and can be treated by keeping the skin clean and dry. In more severe cases, antibiotic creams may be prescribed.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Do you know this syndrome? Schimmelpenning-Feuerstein-Mims syndrome by CP Lena, RN Kondo, T Nicolacópulos – Anais brasileiros de …, 2019 – SciELO Brasil

Sebaceous epithelioma: a review of twenty-one cases by AM Dinneen, DR Mehregan – Journal of the American Academy of …, 1996 – Elsevier

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What the Child Neurologist Should Know About Neurocutaneous Conditions by RS Rust – Seminars in pediatric neurology, 2011 – Elsevier

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Hypothesis: Jadassohn nevus phakomatosis: a paracrinopathy with variable phenotype by BG Kousseff – American journal of medical genetics, 1992 – Wiley Online Library

Ocular malformation in association with ipsilateral facial nevus of Jadassohn by SR Wilkes, RJ Campbell, RR Waller – American Journal of Ophthalmology, 1981 – Elsevier