Even if you have not encountered Fordyce spots personally, you have probably come across someone else with them. They are unpleasant and downright embarrassing, especially when they infect the lips. They can affect your confidence a lot as you will find it hard to express yourself freely, smile, kiss your spouse and even eat in front of people.
Many people who develop Fordyce spots are often quick to jump to the conclusion that they are some form of a sexually transmitted disease when in the real sense, they are not. They are harmless and easy to get rid of.
What are Fordyce spots?
Also known as Fordyce granules, Fordyce’s disease or Fordyce lesion, Fordyce spots are white or yellow bumps that appear on the lips in packs of between 20 and 100. They can also appear on the scrotum, the shaft of the penis, and the labia. These spots look reddish or purple on the genitals and can cause bleeding after intercourse.
According to American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, Fordyce spots are caused by the presence of oil glands (ectopic sebaceous glands) that appear in the wrong spots.
In particular, the spots are caused by abnormal secretion of sebum by the sebaceous glands. When excess sebum is secreted, they get accumulated under the skin, causing the spots.
Dermatologists advise against the removal of Fordyce spots because they pose no risk to the human body. However, due to cosmetic reasons, many people still opt to have them removed.
If you cannot bear with Fordyce spots and want them to go away, here are some of the tried and tested methods that you can use to regain your confidence and relieve of the humiliation.
A study published in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery showed that the micro-punch technique can help in the treatment of Fordyce spots to a greater extent. The study which was done between 2003 and 2011 involved 23 people with the condition. The results were not only satisfactory but permanent as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar enhances the health of the skin by tightening its pores and ultimately releasing excessive sebum from it.
Its acidic nature also helps bring down the infection and appearance of the unpleasant spots. Mix equal portions of the apple cider vinegar and water then apply to the affected area using a cotton swab.
Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the infamous Argan tree, Argania Spinosa. It is a great moisturizer which leaves the skin hydrated within a few minutes of application. Argan oil is also rich in linoleic acid which is an amazing cleansing agent. Further, Argan oil is a recommended oil for hair growth.
Like apple cider vinegar, the oil helps the skin release extra sebum through its pores enhancing its healing process. Use your fingers to apply the oil on the lips for a week or until you see a difference.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has excellent anti-microbial properties and can help you get rid of Fordyce spots fast, especially when combined with copaiba Balsam essential oil.
The two oils will kill any bacteria in your blocked pores, which appears as Fordyce spots. They will also nourish your lips to prevent dryness and damage.
Coconut oil is believed to be the skin’s best friend. The oil inhibits the growth of bacteria bound to occur on the accumulated sebum. Rub a few drops of the oil on the affected areas 2 times a day for fast relief. If you are allergic to coconut oil, there are other options.
Laser treatments are also used to remove Fordyce spots. It involves the use of concentrated light at different wavelengths to get rid of the extra sebum.
Carbon dioxide is the most common form of laser treatments followed by pulsed lasers. The former may cause scarring compared to the later but is the least expensive option of the two.
There are a few topical treatments used by medical experts to shrink or eliminate Fordyce spots, including dichloroacetic acid, oral isotretinoin (or Sotret Claris), and tretinoin (Avita or Retin-A). The only downside of these treatment options is the fact that they are associated with a few side effects, such as burning sensations and inflammation.
Fordyce spots are not an indication of a serious health condition. As aforementioned, they are normal and harmless. So, the level of treatment to go for depends entirely on how committed you are to get rid of these papules.
Before trying any remedy, however, it is highly recommended to consult a specialist to ascertain that what you have on your lips are actually Fordyce spots.
If you have white spots on your lips because of other reasons or condition, using some of the above-highlighted remedies could aggravate it.
Lastly, avoid squeezing or picking them as this might cause further damage.