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.
Fordyce Spots versus Warts
Many people are unable to tell the difference between Fordyce spots vs. warts. It is important to understand the difference between these two conditions given that one is an indication of a sexually transmitted disease while the other is not harmful and may not require you to see a doctor.
Fordyce spots are harmless; they are the normal sebaceous glands that all humans have. Fordyce spots typically appear in adolescence and become more visible during an erection when the skin is taut.
These spots often appear along the penis shaft or the scrotum and when squeezed, may produce a whitish discharge.
On the other hand, genital warts appear as flat, pimple-like growths around the genital areas. In women, warts usually appear around the entry of the vaginal canal, cervix, and urethra while in men, the papules often appear on the shaft of the penis, under the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis, or on the scrotum.
We recommend that you look at pictures to help you distinguish between Fordyce spots vs. warts. If you are unsure, consult a doctor who will help determine whether your spots are warts or harmless Fordyce bumps.
Fordyce Spots And Pregnancy
During pregnancy, the body increases the production of the androgen hormone, which causes the skin glands to expand and produce extra sebum.
Excessive sebum can clog pores and increase the appearance of Fordyce spots on parts of the body including the vagina, lips, and inside the cheeks.
The combination of Fordyce spots and pregnancy might be a cause for concern for some women but it needn’t be. Most of the time, you can easily manage these bumps at home. Due to the risks associated with pregnancy, it is best to let the spots fade away on their own.
If you have Fordyce spots around the vaginal area, you can relieve your symptoms by:
- Avoiding tight underwear that rubs against your labia and vulva
- Wearing underwear made of natural material such as cotton to keep the genitals dry
- Clean and dry your genitals regularly using mild soap, water, and by patting with a clean soft towel
Again, due to the risks associated with pregnancy in some women, it is recommended that you see a doctor if you notice the appearance of spots or bumps that seem unusual.
Painful, itchy, discharging, and persistent bumps could be a sign of an STD and require immediate medical attention.
Fordyce Spots and Cancer
If correctly diagnosed as such, Fordyce spots are not cancerous. These spots are just visible sebaceous glands and are not a sign of cancer whether they appear on your lips, reproductive organs, or other parts of the body.
It is worth noting that Fordyce spots and penile cancer spots are very different and it is unlikely that one condition would be confused with the other. Sebaceous carcinoma spots are usually larger than Fordyce spots, so it is easy to tell the two apart.
In extremely rare cases, Fordyce spots might be an early indication of the onset of sebaceous carcinoma, an equally rare form of cancer that affects the penis.
This type of cancer has been found to arise from abnormal cell production in the sebaceous glands. However, this in no way means that you are at risk of getting cancer simply by having Fordyce spots.
How to Get Rid of Fordyce 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.
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.
In addition, here are 2 products containing substances that are proven in a Fordyce Spot treatment regiment:
Benzoyl peroxide is a popular OTC medication for mild to moderate acne. Bacteria and overproduction of sebum, which clogs the skin pores, are major causes of acne just in the same way excessive production of sebum can increase the risk of Fordyce spots.
When you have Fordyce spots on the lips benzoyl peroxide may not be the best treatment to use. This is because this medicine is not safe for ingestion. Benzoyl peroxide typically comes in the form of a cream, gel, lotion, or foam and is applied directly to the affected area. This makes it unsuitable as a Fordyce spots lips treatment.
Tretinoin is a type of vitamin A that, like benzoyl peroxide, helps to treat acne and alleviate other skin conditions such as discoloration, fine wrinkles, and spots.
While helpful for accelerating skin renewal, using tretinoin gel for Fordyce spots on lips is not recommended. In fact, you should avoid getting this topical cream in your mouth, eyes, vagina or around your nose.
How to Treat Fordyce Spots Naturally at Home
If you are not in a hurry and are looking for a natural way to get rid of them, here is a list of reliable, natural treatment options for Fordyce spots that won’t break the bank.
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.
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots On Your Lips
Wondering how to get rid of Fordyce spots on lips fast? Consider using a specially formulated Fordyce spots treatment cream.
The Fordyce Spots Removal Cream contains poly hydroxyl and retinoic acids, two powerful but safe compounds that penetrate the skin around your lips and help to break down the oil trapped under the sebaceous glands, which manifests as Fordyce spots.
This lip treatment balm further helps to minimize the size of the sebaceous glands, preventing the spots from returning once you stop treatment.
Many people say that after several weeks of use, they noticed that their spots flattened out and gradually became invisible, leaving them with healthy-looking skin.
For best results, apply the daytime Fordyce Balm on the affected area of the lips in the morning and the nighttime cream before going to bed.
- Safe to apply on lips
- Poly Hydroxyl and Retinoic Acids help to treat Fordyce spots on lips fast
- Available in pump or tin form for individual convenience
- May need weeks of application to see visible results
- Daytime balm may have a burning sensation
- Night time balm may have a slight numbing effect
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots On Your Lips Naturally
While Fordyce spots are generally harmless, some people opt for options such as surgery to remove these bumps. However, surgery has its own set of complications and does not come cheap. If you are wondering about how to get rid of Fordyce spots without surgery or the use of pharmaceutical products, you might want to try natural remedies.
To get rid of Fordyce spots on lips naturally, try the following remedies:
Fordyce Spots Cure Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a safe way to get rid of Fordyce naturally. It helps to tighten skin pores, which slows down the production of excessive sebum from oil glands.
Vinegar contains a powerful mix of acids including citric, lactic, acetic, and succinic acid, which have been found to kill bacteria and minimize the production of excessive oil from the skin.
Due to its acidity, apple cider vinegar helps to prevent infections and makes the appearance of Fordyce spots less visible.
For this Fordyce spots cure, simply mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar and an equal amount of water. Using a cotton swab, apply the mixture to the affected area.
Fordyce Spots Cure Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel is a popular plant extract known for its healing properties. To get rid of Fordyce spots at home using aloe vera, use this plant extract in its purest form i.e. by cutting up the leaves.
Once you break the leaf of an aloe vera plant, apply the raw gel on the Fordyce spots. Leave the gel on the affected area for a few minutes and then wash it off with cold water.
For best results, apply aloe vera gel on the affected area twice a day until you see the spots disappear and your skin return to its natural tone.
Fordyce Spots Essential Oil Remedies
One of the best ways to get rid of Fordyce spots at home is by using essential oils. Be sure to pick powerful but gentle essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, and tea tree oil.
Essential oils for Fordyce spots work by minimizing the production of excessive sebum. Regular use of essential oils prevents the formation of new bumps and helps to fade spots away.
To prepare a Fordyce spots essential oil remedy, combine a tablespoon each of lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil. Message the oil mixture directly on the affected area and leave it on until it dries before washing off the oil with warm water.
Use this remedy for several weeks or until you see visible results.
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the oldest remedies for treating a wide array of skin condition including scars, rashes, and spots, thanks to its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
To get rid of Fordyce spots with coconut oils, simply add a few drops of olive oil or lavender extracts into a tablespoon of coconut oil.
Mix the solution thoroughly and apply it to the affected area. Its healing and moisturizing properties make coconut oil one of the safest ways to get rid of Fordyce spots naturally.
After applying the coconut and lavender oil mixture, leave for about 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water. Repeat this process every day for a few weeks or until you see the spots disappearing.
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots On the Penis
Having Fordyce spots on the penis can be very unsettling for many men but doctors say these bumps are normal and should not be a cause for concern.
Fordyce spots are often misdiagnosed as a different condition known as pearly penile papules. Unlike Fordyce spots, pearly penile papules appear as whitish or skin-colored outgrowths mostly occurring at the tip of the penis.
Fordyce spots, on the other hand, appear along the shaft or on the scrotum. Both conditions are however NOT sexually transmitted diseases.
Regarding how to get rid of Fordyce spots on the penis, you can use over-the-counter medication or natural remedies to help reduce the production of excessive oil and to stop bacteria. Over the counter medicines for Fordyce spots contain exfoliating chemicals and other compounds such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Note that because the skin around the penis can be quite sensitive, you should stop using over the counter treatment if you notice even the slightest allergic reaction.
Other than over the counter medicines, you can also try natural remedies to get rid of Fordyce spots on the penis. Examples of such remedies include:
Witch hazel is a natural plant extract contained in OTC acne medication. It helps to unclog and clean pores to minimize white spots.
Tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is another powerful natural remedy for Fordyce spots. This oil is packed with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to minimize the appearance of whiteheads.
When attempting to get rid of Fordyce spots on the penis, avoid acidic home remedies such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar as these might be too harsh for the sensitive skin around the penis.
Here are additional personal care tips for when you have Fordyce spots around your genitals:
- Wash the area regularly with mild soap and water to prevent the accumulation of oil and bacteria
- Avoid squeezing or picking at the spots as this can lead to scarring and irritation
- Avoid touching the area to prevent the spots from spreading
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots On Foreskin
Fordyce spots can also appear on the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis. Understandably, many men are concerned about how to get rid of Fordyce spots on the foreskin. The truth is, your doctor will likely not recommend any treatment, because as mentioned earlier, these spots are harmless.
If you feel completely disconcerted, you can get rid of Fordyce spots on the foreskin with:
In this procedure, your doctor will use a special instrument to remove tissues that are causing the Fordyce spots on the foreskin.
Another option to get rid of Fordyce spots on the penis is through laser surgery, which removes the growths and makes the spots less visible.
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce On Labia
Many women have small bumps on both the outer labia (labia majora) and inner labia (labia minora). The labia majora is covered by hair follicles that are made up of both hair and oil (sebaceous glands). The labia minora does not have hair but also contains oil glands.
The oil glands, found in both the inner and outer labia are what are seen as Fordyce bumps and they are completely normal.
If you are concerned and wondering how to get rid of Fordyce on labia, the good news is that you really do not have to do anything to remove these spots. Like Fordyce on penis or foreskin, Fordyce spots on labia will go away on their own.
Given the sensitivity of the labia and vaginal opening, it is best to avoid applying anything around this region whether that is OTC topical medicines or natural remedies. These treatments can cause a pH imbalance that may predispose you to bacterial infections such as bacterial vaginosis.
That being said, it is recommended that you consult a doctor if you notice any new, painful bumps that disappear and reappear after a while.
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.