Nevus sebaceus is a growth that occurs on the face or scalp and is present at birth in less than 1% of all newborns. At birth, the growth is often flat, pink and velvety with an absence of hair around the edges. Under the hormonal influences of puberty, it will darken and enlarge to an orange plaque that has warty bumps and ridges throughout the surface.
Nevus sebaceus occurs randomly and is seen equally in males and females of all ethnicities. It is a unique growth in that it contains all of the components of skin including epidermal cells, hair follicles, connective tissue, and oil and sweat glands.
Most of the time, nevus sebaceus is considered to be a harmless condition. However, skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma, may develop out of a nevus sebaceus in less than 10% of people. Additionally, a rare condition, called sebaceus nevus syndrome, may present with the typical plaque of nevus sebaceus and also abnormalities of the eyes, bones and brain.
A child with nevus sebaceus should be evaluated by a dermatologist. The treatment of choice is generally surgical excision, which may be done for cosmetic reasons or the prevention of more serious skin conditions. Additionally, they should be monitored for bone abnormalities and neurologic symptoms, such as seizures. If present, the child should be referred to the necessary medical specialists.
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