Fordyce spots on lips and genital area is a harmless and noncommunicable skin condition.
Although it is harmless, hardly anyone can accept the ugliness it brings to the delicate parts of the body.
Having pimple-like white bumps and spots in your genital area, on the vermilion border of lips, in the mouth, or on eyelids can make you feel miserable.
You surely want to explore the best home remedies and treatments for Fordyce spots removal.
If you are wondering how to get rid of Fordyce spots, keep reading this article to find the right solution.
What are Fordyce Spots?
Dr. John Addison Fordyce was a U.S. dermatologist, 1858–1925, whose name is associated with Fordyce’s spot.
This disease is also known as Fordyce’s disease, Fordyce’s lesion, Fordyce glands, Fordyce granules, Angiokeratoma of Fordyce, Brooke–Fordyce trichoepithelioma, or Fox–Fordyce disease.
These spots or bumps are also known as ‘penis pimples,’ or ‘sebaceous prominence.’
These white spots or bumps are enlarged sebaceous glands that secrete sebum oil for keeping the skin and hair moisturized.
This skin condition is commonly seen in men but less common in women.
Sebaceous prominence is neither contagious nor a sexually transmitted disease (3).
These tiny white bumps or spots are harmless as they do not cause pain or skin irritation.
No treatment is required for this skin condition.
However, getting rid of the Fordyce spots is important for a cosmetic reason and for boosting your self-esteem.
How to Diagnose Fordyce Spots?
You could be confused and be finding difficult to identify and differentiate sebaceous prominence from other skin issues.
There are other skin conditions such as milium cysts, sebaceous hyperplasia, herpes, epidermoid cysts, genital warts, or basal cell carcinoma which have a similar appearance to the Fordyce granules (4).
The size of the Fordyce spots is about 1 to 3 millimeters (.04 to .12 inches) in diameter.
They’re white, light-yellowish, or flesh-colored.
Sebaceous prominence appears on the epidermis layer of the skin.
They appear isolated or scattered, but sometimes they form a cluster together.
Fordyce spots are not easily noticeable unless the skin is forcefully stretched.
Fordyce Spots Scrotum:
Fordyce spots on the scrotum or shaft of the penis may have visible bumps; in rare cases, they might even bleed during intercourse.
Usually, they appear domed and smooth with reddish, white, or skin-colored in the genital area.
If you have Fordyce spots on the genital area, examine them thoroughly to ensure they are not genital warts or any types of STD.
Fordyce Spots Lips And Mouth:
Fordyce spots are unsightly white spots or granules that can appear on the lips or in the mouth in both men and women.
They are very tiny bumps around 1–2mm in diameter.
They appear as yellow-white spots in the oral area, vermilion edges of the lips, and around the mouth.
Your doctor can easily diagnose Fordyce spots by their appearance alone. If needed, your doctor might even perform a biopsy test to make sure of the skin condition.
Causes of Fordyce Spots
Fordyce spots are a natural part of your anatomy, and they occur naturally at birth (5).
However, in most people, Fordyce spots remain hidden and invisible.
They are enlarged sebaceous glands that might appear on the skin surfaces for the first time around puberty.
Available evidence from studies suggests that the occurrence of sebaceous prominence increase with age.
Possible Risks and Health Indications
Some of the recent studies have brought out a few important findings of Fordyce granules.
A study published in the Dental Research Journal suggests that an excess number of Fordyce Spots in the mouth is closely linked to hyperlipidemia. It is a condition that causes heart disease because of elevated levels of fat in the blood.
According to one of the studies published in the Journal Gut found that 86.7 percent of patients with an inherited form of colorectal cancer had Fordyce spots in their mouth. The findings of this study suggest the possibility of identifying the families at risk of getting colorectal cancer by analyzing the presence of Fordyce spots in them.
Another research finding by scientists in the Journal Clinical Case Reports and Reviews verifies that chances of getting Fordyce Spots are two times higher in men compared to women. Men with oily skin are highly prone to get sebaceous prominence.
Does Treatments For Fordyce Spot Work?
Honestly, sebaceous prominence is a harmless skin condition that does not require any treatment (6).
However, if you are adamant about getting rid of Fordyce Spots for cosmetic reasons, then treatments are available for it.
Do Fordyce spots go away?
Yes. With or without treatment, these non-contagious spots tend to fade away over a period gradually.
If you are seriously concerned about how to get rid of Fordyce Spots, here are a few mainstream treatments that can help you out.
Common treatments for Fordyce granules are micro-punch surgery, laser treatments, creams, and lotions for topical treatments and natural remedies (7).
None of the treatments can give a permanent solution to sebaceous prominence.
Results from the treatments may last for a few months, but soon fresh spots come up again.
Only a substantial decrease in the growth of sebaceous glands can make the Fordyce granules go away.
Changes in the levels of hormones and food habits can have some impact on the disappearance of these spots.
Topical Treatments And Natural Remedies
Nobody likes to have ugly bumps and pimples on lips, around the mouth, or on the genital area.
It may be vital for you to remove the Fordyce Spot for the sake of good appearance and psychological satisfaction.
You also do not want your friends and partners to view the sebaceous prominence and falsely imagine that you are suffering some form of STD.
Let us now look at some of the best solutions and remedies for getting rid of Fordyce Spots.
Take the Help of a Dermatologist
If you notice an unusual growth of little white bumps on your genitals, on lips, or inside the mouth, consult a dermatologist.
Dermatologists can easily identify your skin condition and say whether you suffer from Fordyce granules, genital warts, or herpes.
The dermatologist can also suggest the best treatments for Fordyce spots removal depending on your skin condition.
Micro-Punch Surgery For the Removal of Spots and Granules
This surgery is popularly used in hair transplantation.
It is a painless procedure as doctors usually apply local anesthetics to reduce pain.
In micro-punch surgery, the surgeon makes use of a small needle-like device to punch your skin and remove the tissues with spots and bumps.
It is a safe treatment method as this process does not cause infection or leave scar marks.
According to a study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, the participants who underwent Micro-punch surgery showed no signs of Fordyce spots even after a year of the treatment.
Micro-punch surgery is superior to laser treatment as this method carefully removes the tissues with spots instead of locally destroying them.
The treatment procedure is very fast and can remove dozens of Fordyce spots within a couple of minutes.
Laser Treatments For Spots Correction
Your dermatologist may use carbon dioxide laser treatments to get rid of Fordyce spots.
The use of CO2 laser treatment is the most common method for correcting Fordyce spots and bumps on the skin (10).
However, using Pulsed dye lasers is less scarring than using CO2 lasers, but it is a costly affair.
Using laser treatment for removing spots on lips and face is not recommended as this may leave scar marks on the skin.
Topical Treatments with Creams and Lotions
Your doctor may recommend you using any effective topical treatments for getting rid of sebaceous prominence.
Some of the popular topical treatment for Fordyce Spots are topical tretinoin (Avita, Retin-A), oral isotretinoin (Sotret, Claravis), and bichloracetic acid (11).
According to some research reports the Fordyce spots can be triggered by pregnancy, menopause, or puberty which is responsible for acne as well.
For this reason, some of the prescription creams used for acne like clindamycin, pimecrolimus, glucocorticoids, retinoids, or benzoyl peroxide might also work for Fordyce Spots. Use those creams and OTC products only if recommended by your dermatologist.
Clindamycin cream is proved to be beneficial for dealing with inflamed sebaceous glands.
These topical treatments can also be used along with laser treatments.
Try Photodynamic Therapy
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a medical treatment that utilizes a photosensitizing molecule (12).
When photosensitizers are exposed to a specific wavelength of light, they give out a form of oxygen that kills the skin cells.
PDT is also used for activating certain drugs like 5-aminolevulinic acid which need to be activated by light exposure.
It is usually employed in treating certain types of skin cancer and aberrations.
PDT treatment can be used to reduce the appearance of spots on the genital area.
However, this treatment may not be suitable for the face and lips as PDT can make the skin temporarily sensitive to the sun rays. It may also form scars on the skin.
Electrodesiccation/Cauterization for Spots Removal
Electrodesiccation is a kind of laser therapy that can be used for burning off the Fordyce spots (13).
Overuse of Cauterization laser treatment can leave scars on the skin and cause skin irritation as well.
If your dermatologist recommends, this is effective for Fordyce spots removal from the genital area.
It is not apt for use on the face and lips for the correction of spots.
Cryotherapy for Freezing the Bumps
Cryotherapy is a commonly used treatment for curing a variety of benign and malignant tissue damage, medically called lesions (14).
Cryotherapy can be applied to freeze off the bumps using liquid nitrogen.
You can verify the suitability of this treatment for sebaceous prominence with your dermatologist.
Isotretinoin for Fordyce Spot
Isotretinoin, also known as 13-cis-retinoic acid, is commonly recommended by dermatologists for treating severe acne (15).
Evidence suggests that the use of Isotretinoin is also effective for the removal of Fordyce spots. You have to use it for several months to get lasting results.
Overuse of Isotretinoin can cause some side effects such as birth defects, joint pain, back pain, and cracking or peeling skin.
Women planning to have a baby or already pregnant should not use isotretinoin for treating acne and Fordyce granules.
Home Remedies for Sebaceous Spots and Pimples Removal
Some of the home remedies that you use for acne and scars removal are also useful for treating Fordyce spots.
It is important to use natural remedies regularly and for a long period to achieve satisfactory results with the treatments.
Please note that natural remedies do not have any scientific backing to prove their efficacy in getting rid of Fordyce granules. Home remedies don’t need to work for all.
Here are a few natural remedies you can try at home:
Garlic: Apply the garlic paste and leave it overnight.
Turmeric: Apply fresh turmeric paste on the affected area and wash it off after an hour.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Dab diluted ACV with a cotton swab and cleanse it off after an hour.
Sandalwood Powder: Apply sandalwood paste on the spots affected area.
Oatmeal: Soak the affected area in oatmeal soaked water.
Honey: apply a mixture of organic honey and olive oil on the spots.
Aloe Vera Gel: Slather the Aloe Vera gel on the spots and wash it off after a few hours.
Chamomile: Apply the paste made of Chamomile flowers powder on the Fordyce granules.
Olive Oil: Regularly massage the spots with olive oil.
Coconut Oil: Massage the spots affected area with coconut oil (add a few drops of lavender oil to coconut oil for better results).
Tea Tree Oil: Apply 3 drops of tea tree oil diluted in a carrier oil (olive, jojoba, or coconut oil)
Jojoba Oil: Use a mixture of Jojoba oil and Argan Oil for massaging the area with Fordyce spots.
The Bottom Line
Fordyce spot is not a serious or contagious disease.
It does not require any treatment.
Please note that approximately 80% of adults develop Fordyce spots at some time in their life.
Usually, they are hidden and not visible unless the skin is forcefully stretched.
If you have a clearly visible sebaceous bump on your lips, face, or genital area you may want to get rid of them for the sake of beautiful appearance.
It is possible to remove the white spots and pimples on the genital area and lips with any of the treatment methods we have discussed above.
However, no treatment can prevent the future occurrence of sebaceous prominence.
Hope this article has cleared your doubt ‘how to get rid of Fordyce spots.’
Please write your comments and other methods of managing sebaceous prominence in the comment section below.
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