Fordyce spots on lips are usually small, painless, elevated, pale, white or red spots that are 1 to 3 mm in diameter that grows in border of the lips and face. This is common to women and men of all ages and it’s very popular among 90% of the men population and 50% of the women population.
Also known as Fordyce granules, Fordyce’s spots, and Sebaceous Prominence in some case, Fordyce spots is a skin condition that is characterized by white or yellowish spots that occur most on the lips or on the genitals. The spots are caused by oil glands which are normally under the skin. However, they are not that visible, except if they are under the mucus membranes. They don’t grow and they don’t always go away by themselves. Also, they aren’t contagious and they don’t cause people any pain, discomfort, or any other complications.
As what has been said earlier, these spots are not infectious and they cannot be transmitted from one person to another, nor are they a result of oral sex. Fordyce spots on lips are in-born but they will only appear during the puberty age. What causes them to appear on the lips is its being overactive, thus making them visible to the naked eye.
- Sebum: Most medical experts think the spots are due to the sebum produced by the sebaceous glands that are found on the hair follicles.
- Genetic: This is another possible cause that could result in Fordyce spots, though there is little evidence to support this topic.
How can you tell if you have Fordyce spots?
(Image source: spotsfordyce.blogspot.com)
What are the signs and symptoms?
These spots may appear as bright red or even purple papules on a man’s penis shaft, scrotum, or on a woman’s labia. These spots are not painful and they’re not even itchy. They are just blood vessels that are abnormally dilated and are covered by thickened skin. And in some cases, they may bleed during or after a sexual intercourse.
How to Tell
For males: you can tell if there are small, pale spots or bumps from 1-3 mm in diameter are visible on your scrotum, the shaft of your penis, and on the vermilion border of your lips.
For females: you can tell if your spots are on the vermilion border of your lips, and on your labia.
Note: Don’t confuse it with pearly penile papules (PPP). Pearly penile papules are actually small, dome-shaped skin-colored papules that are usually located on the sulcus or corona of the penis glands. They aren’t infectious nor are they associated to any skin disease or illness. They are just normal skin outgrowths on the human body.
How to Treat
These spots make a lot embarrassment to the affected person. For some, these spots are tolerable. However, for most people, they aren’t. For this reason, they are looking for ways on how they can remove these weird spots on their lips or on their genitals. If you have Fordyce spots on your lips, you can actually leave it unattended or untreated for it will not cause you any harm either. But if you want it to disappear fast, you can let a dermatologist treat it but surgery treatments will surely cost you too much for nowadays surgical treatments are known to be one of the most expensive way of curing diseases. Below is a list on different treatments.
1. Chemical Peels
Chemical peels like Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) can be an option to treat Fordyce spots found on the affected person’s lips. In this treatment, the lips’ skin will flaked that completely peels off the spots. When peeling the skin of your lips, it will become sensitive that it should be moisturized regularly. The bad thing is if this treatment has been stopped, the symptoms might return.
2. Gel or Tretinoin Gel
Tretinoin cream or gel, which is also known as Retin-A Micro, is considered to be the most simple treatment. Often or daily application of this cream will minimize the bump of the spots. For best results, it is recommended to use with alpha hydroxyl acid agents which is also used in acne treatments.
Accutane is a more powerful substance than Tretinoin. It is used for chronic cases of Fordyce. It’s actually an oral drug that many doctors recommend to treat severe cases of acne if Tretinoin creams have failed. This oral drug is capable of reducing the amount of oil that your skin produces. It can be a good treatment but if you stop using this, the Fordyce spots may come back.
4. Wart Removal Methods
Sometimes you can use the same methods that you normally use to remove warts, like cautery. Cautery is a method that involves burning or searing the spots with the use of an electrical instrument or with an acidic compound. Aside from cautery, you can also freeze the spots using nitrogen. Both can be painful and they are not always a hundred percent effective. Freezing or burning can cause the surrounding skin to be red so if you don’t want that to happen, you can try other methods instead.
5. Laser Vaporization
Aside from Tretinoin cream and Accutane, another treatment option that you can go for is laser vaporization. Electro-desiccation which is a vaporizing laser treatment is also an effective treatment for Fordyce spots. This is only used when the spots are causing serious cosmetic concerns already. This will not give any side effects but it is very expensive. Another one is CO2 laser treatment.
Using lasers in removing the spots can be more effective. But then again, you might not be able to afford this. If you choose this option, you will need to go to the doctor’s office and you’ll need more than just one visit to complete the treatment.
This treatment uses maximum cold temperature for the reason that it helps destroy the prominences. But then, it might result to a side effect like scarring. After some days of treatment that disappears the bumps and spots, blisters may form. Another disadvantage of this treatment is that it can damage the nerves and tissues near the affected area.
Homeopathic remedies and treatment are a popular alternative to traditional medicine because they offer natural and cost effective ways to get rid of Fordyce spots. And the best thing about them is that they don’t have any side effects. If you want to know some cure that can be done even at home, continue reading this article.
One effective remedy is a diet that is rich in garlic. Because garlic is an effective anti-oxidant for healing wounds and infection, people who have Fordyce spots should switch to a diet that is rich in garlic. With this remedy, you don’t have to go to your dermatologist and spend lots of money.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are also an effective way to get rid of Fordyce spots. However, not all fruits and vegetables are good in the removal. You should buy those that are rich in vitamin A and vitamin B complex. Also buy fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins C, D, E, and K. These are all effective in alleviating the skin spots.
Argania and Jojoba Oil
The application of Argania and Jojoba oil is also an effective method, especially if they contain Tocopherol extract. Jojoba oil contains properties that are similar to the oils that are produced by the oil glands present in human skin. Argania extract, meanwhile, comes from an evergreen tree indigenous to Morocco. This emollient oil contains a lot of nutrients and it is usually used in cosmetics.
Other Home Remedies:
There are also other natural remedies you can go use at home, here is a list that you can try before seeing your doctor:
- Coconut Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Aloe Vera Gel
- Vanilla extract and sugar
Eating a healthy balanced diet is recommended when undergoing in these treatments to higher the vitamins that your body needs which will help to the fast healing.
These are the different types of treatments that people can use to treat Fordyce spots. Our skin can be sensitive, thus it’s only imperative to choose the right method to avoid irritations and complications. If you decide to treat them, it would be better if you consult your doctor before you make use of any remedy.