What Are Fordyce Spots?
Fordyce spots are harmless, painless, and perfectly normal yellow or flesh-colored bumps that appear on the skin, typically on the face around the edges of the lips or inside the cheeks. The bumps may also appear on the skin of the genitals, but this is much rarer. These spots may also be referred to as Fordyce granules or Fordyce glands, but every name refers to the same thing: enlarged oil glands.
The oil glands, otherwise called sebaceous glands, usually go with the hair follicles, but Fordyce spots or bumps will appear on areas of the skin that do not have hair. Generally, the bumps are isolated or scattered across the affected areas, but they may also sometimes be grouped together in clusters. The bumps typically appear in symmetrical patterns on both sides of the lips or other affected area.
Fordyce spots can be easily identified by their size and color. They tend to have a diameter of anywhere from around one to three millimeters or .04 to .12 inches. Most often, the bumps are light yellow or the same color as the surrounding flesh, but they may have a reddish tone if they develop around the genitals.
Most of the time, these bumps will actually be relatively unnoticeable, but they may also sometimes become large and unsightly. Otherwise, they are entirely harmless and painless; the bumps are also not itchy, infectious, or contagious. The only side effect is that bumps that have developed around the genitals may be at risk of bleeding during intercourse.
Other Conditions Fordyce Spots May Be Confused With
Although Fordyce spots are pretty recognizable, they may still sometimes be confused with other conditions that have similar symptoms. For example, milium cysts are hard, round bumps of a white color that show up on your face.
Epidermoid cysts, on the other hand, are small lumps that develop underneath the skin. A basal cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that could appear on the skin as a red patch, bump or other types of growth.
Sebaceous hyperplasia is, perhaps, the most similar to Fordyce spots, due to the association with the sebaceous glands. It is a skin condition that appears in the form of small, soft bumps. If Fordyce spots are present around the genitals, they may also be mistaken for genital warts or some other type of sexually transmitted disease.
What Causes Fordyce Spots?
Unlike many other skin conditions, Fordyce spots are actually completely natural. You have them at birth, but they’re not typically noticeable until you hit puberty. At that point, changes in your hormones tend to enlarge them and make them easily seen. Essentially, Fordyce spots aren’t actually caused by anything in particular; although, they are made more noticeable by puberty and hormonal changes.
With that said, it does seem that some people may be at a higher risk of showing Fordyce spots than others. Overall, men are twice as likely to develop the spots than women are. People with oily skin are also much more likely to have noticeable Fordyce spots.
There have also been some studies that have shown an association between Fordyce spots and some other conditions. For example, one study showed a connection between Fordyce spots found in the mouth and a form of inherited colorectal cancer. (1)
A separate study showed another connection between Fordyce spots in the mouth and a condition called hyperlipidemia, which causes increased fat levels to be present in the blood and contributes to a higher risk for heart disease. The conditions have not been shown to cause or be caused by Fordyce spots, however, as these are just associations that could help doctors identify other conditions that may be present when one is seen.
Is Treatment Necessary?
Because Fordyce spots are completely harmless and natural, they don’t actually need to be treated. The spots aren’t caused by any diseases, and they don’t cause any diseases, either. In fact, the spots may not even always be noticeable.
The only reason you might want to seek some kind of treatment is if you are unhappy with the way the Fordyce spots look on your skin, in which case there are some treatments available that could remove or reduce the appearance of the spots.
Fordyce Spots Treatment Options
If you do wish to seek treatment for your Fordyce spots, a doctor might recommend a variety of procedures depending on your condition and personal circumstances. One procedure is called micro-punch surgery, which involves numbing the area and punching the skin with a small device (much like a pen) to remove the affected tissue.
Your doctor might also recommend a laser treatment; unlike micro-punch surgery, however, most types of laser treatments will result in scarring. There are also topical treatments available, but these may cause side effects such as inflammation or irritation.
Since treatment isn’t actually necessary for Fordyce spots, paying a doctor for some sort of procedure to remove or reduce the appearance of the spots may seem a bit drastic.
Luckily, there are actually many different home remedies for Fordyce spots that easily could get you the same results without having to see a doctor about it at all. With that said, it may still be wise to speak with a doctor just to make sure you are actually dealing with Fordyce spots and not some other kind of skin condition.
Home Remedies for Fordyce Spots
If you are dealing with Fordyce spots and are unhappy with the way they look on your skin, you will be glad to hear that there are some natural products you can use in the comfort of your own home that could help treat the appearance of the spots. One important tip to follow during any home treatment is to make sure to always keep the area clean and free of any cosmetic products.
If you do need to use any products, only use products that are labeled safe for sensitive or oily skin. This won’t necessarily treat or reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots, but it will help other natural substances do their jobs more efficiently.
Coconut oil is also a very popular home remedy for a lot of skin conditions, and this is a fact for many good reasons. While coconut is often used for pain relief and inflammation treatment, it also has powerful antimicrobial properties. Fordyce spots are the result of an increased production of sebum, which can actually encourage the growth of bacteria.
This means that the antimicrobial properties in coconut oil could prevent infections and treat the condition at the same time, making the process much more efficient.
While coconut is often used for pain relief and inflammation treatment, it also has powerful antimicrobial properties.There are many different oils, other than coconut oil, that could also treat Fordyce spots very well.
For example, jojoba oil is a very popular facial oil that actually has a very similar composition to that of sebum. Applying this oil to your face could trick your skin into thinking that the sebum has already been released, which would then keep the sebaceous glands from continuing to release more. Overall, jojoba oil seems like the most effective home remedy by far.
Simply take a few drops of the oil and apply it to the affected area of skin. Let it work for a few hours or overnight. repeat the process daily until you start to see results.
Garlic and Lemon
If you are not interested in going out and purchasing some fancy oil, however, there are still some natural substances you could use that are probably in your home right now. For example, garlic and lemon actually make a great treatment for Fordyce spots when combined. They provide anti-fungal and exfoliating properties, but the acidity of the lemon may also cause irritation, depending on your skin sensitivity.
To use this treatment, mix two cloves of garlic with a tablespoon or two of fresh lemon juice in a food processor. Blend the ingredients well and add half a cup of water then blend again.
Strain the mixture and store in a bottle. Apply the mixture to you Fordyce spots with a cotton ball or swab and allow it to dry. Repeat the process every evening for a week or two..
Ginger also provides powerful antihistamine properties that could help reduce the sebaceous glands’ overproduction of sebum. Because of its ability to reduce sebum production, it can help prevent the development of Fordyce spots while its antihistamine properties also make it an effective remedy for a variety of other skin conditions.
There are several way to use ginger to treat your Fordyce spots. Ginger essential oil is an extremely effective treatment but it is easy enough and considerably cheaper to make your own ginger extract.
Mix a handful of fresh ginger root with three tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar in a blender. Blend the mixture until it is a smooth paste and then add half a cup of water and blend it again. Store the mixture in a mason jar and cover it with an airtight lid. Let the jar sit in the sun for around a week.
Once the mixture is ready, transfer it to another container. Apply a few drops to your Fordyce spots with a cotton swab every evening. Leave it work overnight and then rinse off the following morning.
As mentioned, there are many different kinds of oils that could be used in the treatment of Fordyce spots. Natural oils are very popular in various skincare routines for their powerful benefits, both medically and cosmetically. Argan oil is commonly used to treat acne and acne scars, and it could help to remove excess sebum from your pores.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil may also be very effective in treating Fordyce spots. Tea tree essential oil has outstanding antimicrobial properties and is used to treat a wide range of skin conditions including common inflammatory issues like eczema and psoriasis. Tea tree essential oil can help destroy the bacteria that clogs the pores while it also helps nourish the skin and lips preventing further damage.
Before applying tea tree essential oil toy your skin, it is important to dilute it with a suitable skin friendly carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has become an extremely popular home remedy for a very wide range of conditions from acne and skin tags to improved digestion and weight loss. ACV may help trwat Fordyce spots because of its ability to tighten the skin’s pores which helps release excess sebum.
Mix an equal amount of apple cider vinegar and water and apply it to your fordyce spots with a cotton swab.
Stinging nettle is another potential home remedy for Fordyce spots. It can help control the production of sebum and is also a natural antihistamine. By reducing the production of sebum, it can help prevent sebum from getting trapped inside the pores and prevent Fordyce spots from developing.
Simply crush a handful of dried stinging nettle leaves and add sufficient water to make a smooth, fine paste. Apply the paste to your fordyce spots and leave it for an hour before rinsing it off with warm water. Repeat each day for a week and you should start to see the effects.
Overall, it’s important to remember that Fordyce spots don’t need to be treated for health reasons. The condition is completely harmless and actually occurs naturally in the human body. Some people will have more noticeable Fordyce spots than others, but they technically exist in everybody. The only reason why you might choose to seek treatment for your Fordyce spots is if you are uncomfortable with the way they look on your skin.
With that said, seeking treatment from a doctor may not be necessary. While the procedures recommended by a doctor may have more medical proof of success backing them, they are rather invasive and may end up costing you a lot of money to carry out.
Instead, there are several natural substances that you could use in a daily skincare routine to help eliminate or reduce the overall appearance of your Fordyce spots. In the end, the natural home remedies will be much easier and more convenient than any procedure recommended by a doctor.
- Fordyce spots are small bumps which appear on a person;s skin usually on the lips, the face or the inside of the cheeks.
- They are caused by the build up of sebum in the pores.
- They are painless and harmless so there is typically no need to seek medical treatment.
- Some people may want to get rid of these spots because they may be unsightly.
- There are a number of potential home treatments to get rid of Fordyce spots. These include oils like argan oil, coconut oil and jojoba oil as well as essential oils like tea tree. Other remedies include ginger, garlic and lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
- We recommend jojoba oil since it is highly effective, skin friendly and works well on any type of skin.
- lemon juice and apple cider vinegar may be too harsh for some people and could cause a reaction .