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sebaceous gland

A small gland in the skin which secretes sebum, a fatty substance that acts as a protective and water repellant layer on skin and allows the epidermis to retain its suppleness; sebum also contains some antibacterial substances. Sebum secretion is fairly constant but varies from individual to individual. Obstructed sebaceous glands become blackheads which are the basis for acne.

Seborrhea is a disorder of the sebaceous glands characterized by over-production of sebum that results in red, scaly patches on the skin and dandruff. Common at puberty, it predisposes to dandruff.

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