Internal glands produce sebum, which helps to form an important oily coat on the surface of the skin. Excess sebum, however, can lead to undesirable effects.


Production

Sebaceous glands in the skin produce sebum, which is made of a combination of the body’s lipids.

Location

Sebaceous glands are located on most parts of the body. The glands open into pores or hair follicles, transporting sebum to the skin.

Purpose

Sebum forms part of an oily surface that coats the skin to prevent it from drying and provides a barrier against infection.

Variation

The body produces more sebum at puberty. Sebum production decreases later in life.

Concerns

When excess sebum is produced in puberty it leads to acne. Sebum also can contribute to body odor when it decomposes on the skin.

References and Resources

DermaNet MZ: Sebum
Doctor Good Skin: Acne