You may have noticed tiny white bumps on your lips and inside your mouth. These are called Fordyce spots, and they are quite common.
Fordyce spots can be found on the lip. In rare cases, they can also be found on the female and male genitalia.
What are Fordyce Spots, and How Do They Work?
These whitish to yellowish bumps are also known as Fordyce granules and Fordyce glands. They occur when sebaceous or oil glands become larger than normal. They aren’t painful or itchy and don’t spread to others. They are usually found on the outside edges of the lips and inside the cheeks. They can also be found on the body or in other areas where there isn’t hair.
Fordyce spots can be seen as small bumps, sometimes in large clusters. They rarely appear on the penis, scrotum or genital area in men.
How Old Do Fordyce Spots Manifest?
Fordyce spots may occur at any age. They can be found in between 70 and 80 percent of adults. They are usually visible in one’s teens.
Fordyce Spots: Causes
Fordyce spots can occur for many reasons. They are present in all of us from birth. They become more visible as we reach puberty and are enlarged by hormonal changes. Fordyce spots are more common in people with oily skin.
How to identify Fordyce Spots?
Fordyce spots can be white or pale yellow. They may also have the same colour as your skin. They can be anywhere from 1-3mm, but sometimes they are larger. They may appear reddish in your genitalia.
They are found in groups and appear symmetrical patterns on both the outside and inside of your lips. They can sometimes be seen in the mouth, on the inside of your lips and cheeks. They can be easily seen if you stretch your skin. They are tiny enough that you may not be able to see them otherwise.
Fordyce spots can be confused with other conditions. These conditions include:
- Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer. You may notice a bump, a swelling or reddening.
- Sebaceous hyperplasia is characterized by small, white, and soft bumps.
- Milium cysts can also be white, round bumps found on the skin that can sometimes be seen on the faces. However, these are difficult to touch.
- These are small, hard bumps under the skin’s layers and are called epidermoid cysts.
Fordyce Spots Treatment
Fordyce spots can be left alone as they don’t cause pain, itching, or other problems. If you are not happy with the way these bumps make your skin look, there are some treatments you can do to get them out:
- Medical Treatments
- Laser Therapy
To remove the spots, a dermatologist might use different wavelengths of laser beams. Scarring can occur if the spots are treated with a carbon dioxide laser. A pulsed dye laser treatment is another option, but it may cause scarring.
Your dermatologist might recommend topical or oral tretinoin to remove Fordyce marks. It is possible to recommend formulas containing bichloracetic acids as an ingredient.
Combining topical and laser treatments may be an option. However, side effects such as a burning sensation on the skin, or even inflammation may occur.
Micro-punch surgery involves the fast removal of Fordyce marks from your genital or face. After punching the skin, a device that looks like a pen is used for the removal of the unwanted tissue and spots.
Local anaesthesia can be used to reduce pain as this is a painful procedure. There are no side effects or scarring after the procedure. According to a study, Fordyce spots don’t recur after one year.
You can also remove Fordyce spots by using electrodessication or cauterization:
- Home Remedies
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is an antibacterial and astringent in nature. A mixture of ACV and water, in equal amounts, can be applied to the affected areas twice per week. After a while, wash off. ACV’s astringent properties act as a toner, normalizing the oil and sebum levels on your skin.
Fordyce spots can be reduced by consuming a mixture of garlic flakes and water, along with lemon juice, on an empty stomach. There are many good things about garlic that can reduce the amount of bacteria in our bodies.
Jojoba And Argan Oil
Jojoba oil is rich in vitamin E which helps to moisturize the skin and reduce the size of enlarged pores. This will decrease the amount of sebum secretion. The skin’s oil production can also be balanced by Argan oil. Apply both oils together in equal amounts. Rinse after ten minutes.
Coconut oil mixed with a few drops of lavender oil can also be used to reduce Fordyce marks. Coconut oil moisturizes the skin and prevents it from becoming dry. Hyper-dry skin can cause excess sebum production and lead to the formation of spots. Lavender oil is an anti-inflammatory oil that will soothe your skin. Allow the mixture to sit for at least a couple of hours before rinsing with warm water.