What’s That Bump? Over Forty Edition
Your over forty clients who’ve had oily or combination skin for much of their lives may be noticing some new bumps that are not quite like anything they’ve seen before. If it’s not a pimple, and it’s not a cyst, and it’s not a mole, what is it? Raised, hard nodule? Whitish or yellowish surface? A little dimplish indentation in the center? That’s sebaceous hyperplasia.
These benign, but annoying little bumps are the result of an overproduction of sebum that gets trapped inside a damaged sebaceous gland. Too much oil, trapped in the gland causes it to swell and create a bump. These usually make an appearance on the forehead or the cheeks surrounding the nose, basically the T-zone. People with fair hair, and/or those who’ve experienced a lot of sun exposure over the years are more likely to play host to these unwelcome visitors. And once they’ve already occurred, sun exposure will make them worse, so as always, sun protection, sun protection, sun protection.
There’s no quick fix for these deeply rooted keratin plugs. Peels, laser treatment, and photodynamic treatment, and cryotherapy are options, though all but the peels can potentially leave scars.
And they are tenacious. Short of excising them surgically, it’s hard to be fully be rid of them. But you can do a lot to mitigate their appearance. With a little patience and diligence, they all but disappear.
Vitamin A (retinol) will accelerate cell turnover to peel away the excess layers of skin and signal the cells to get back to their regular programming. If your client is already using one of Vivant’s vitamin A therapies, treating hyperplasia would be a reason to bump up to the next level. If the skin is not yet acclimated to vitamin A, it’s best to start with Derm-A Gel, then move up to Exfol-A, and finally, Exfol-A Forté, level three and the strongest of Vivant’s vitamin A formulas.
Once skin is acclimated to this level, advise them to add Clear Body Therapy to the mix. This intensive vitamin A and lactic acid formula is a potent keratolytic that provides a dramatic retexturing effect. We usually recommend CBT for resistant acne on the back, or for softening cracked heels or elbows. You can recommend they use it as a spot treatment directly on hyperplasia bumps. If the area becomes overly flaky or irritated, give skin a rest for a few days, and return to Clear Body Therapy when skin has calmed down. The bumps will peel away to almost nothing within two to three weeks.
Other ingredients that can help banish these bumps are salicylic acid; also a keratolytic meaning it peels away the top layers of dead skin. In addition, salicylic acid reduces sebum production, which will help prevent future problems with hyperplasia. You can find salicylic acid in Vivant’s Daily Repair Pads. Bonus: using clarifying Daily Repair Pads before applying vitamin A therapies will enhance their absorption to optimize their benefits.
Niacinamide is another great ally in this fight. The vitamin B derivative regulates cell metabolism and regeneration, strengthens the skin barrier, and is also a sebum reducer. Niacinamide can be found in Vivant’s Spin Trap Antioxidant Serum, Exfol-A Forté, and Totaloe Calming and Hydrating Gel.
Remind clients not to pick at these bumps. The root of the problem is the sebaceous gland, which is deep under the surface of the skin. Picking will only damage the skin and potentially create a scar.
Basal cell carcinoma can have a similar shape, but is distinguishable by its larger, irregular size and darker coloration. If you’re uncertain, advise your client to have their dermatologist take a look.