Fordyce spots (or sebaceous granules) are characterized as small yellow/white papules ranging in diameter (1-5 mm) and are slightly raised from skin surface. These spots usually appear on genital organs, such as on shaft or glans of the penis in males, and vulva in females. Apart from the genitals, Fordyce spots can appear inside mouth and on the edges of lips.
Fordyce spots are basically sebaceous glands but deprived of hair follicles. These spots are harmless and present in a large chunk of adult population without producing any symptoms. Contrary to a common belief, Fordyce spots are not transmitted sexually and does not classify as a disease at all. However, Fordyce Spots treatment options are meant for cosmetic purposes.
Signs & Symptoms
Generally, Fordyce spots are harmless and don’t present any symptoms at all. Rarely, it can cause itching and mild pain. These spots appear as bumps and usually appear on genital organs of both genders and some areas around the lips.
Fordyce spots haven’t been found to cause trouble and typically do not present with symptoms. However, these spots are a cause of cosmetic concern, hence various methods, mostly surgical, are available for purely cosmetic purposes. The following fordyce spots treatment options are available including one non-surgical approach:-
Medical Treatment (Non-Surgical)
The medical approach employs topical application of drugs such as bichloracetic acid and tretinoin (Retin-A, Avita). The other option is to take isotretinoin (Sotret, Claravis) orally. These drugs act by shrinking the Fordyce spots and can also be given prior or in conjunction with the laser treatment for their removal.
Side effects are a concern with the medical approach. Local inflammation and burning sensation can occur in the areas of topical application.
Two types of laser treatments are usually approached. One type is the carbon dioxide laser, which is cheaper, but may causing scarring. The other type is the Pulsed dye laser which is more expensive than its previous counterpart, and scarring is also minimum. Both types of treatment focus beam of light working at different wavelengths and effectively reduce Fordyce spots.
A pen-like instrument is used in this approach to puncture the affected parts of skin and excise the spots in total. This procedure is performed in local anesthesia to numb the area and thus cause minimal pain. This approach is highly efficient and does not produce scar tissue, which could otherwise become an additional cause of cosmetic concern. One study concluded that the spots do not recur for another year after this procedure.
CO2 Laser or electrodesiccation is a treatment which has been in use for making the spots less visible. Electrodesiccation addresses the genuine cosmetic concern associated with this skin condition.
(A concentrated beam of light is used for both of these laser procedures but with different wavelengths)
Home Remedies For Fordyce Spots Treatment
You can use the following ingredients from your kitchen cabinet and apply them on the Fordyce spots to get rid of them. However, home remedies may take an extended period of time compared to other treatments to be an effective treatment option.
- Garlic, apple cider vinegar, jojoba oil, coconut oil, buttermilk and essential oils.
- Coconut oil serves as a natural moisturizer for lips and aids in removal of Fordyce spots
- Maintain proper hygiene to prevent yourself from Fordyce spot formation. If they are present, then wash the upper mouth area or all the body parts thoroughly which aids in their removal.
Other Options of Treatment
- Chemical cauterization
- Photodynamic therapy (PTD)