Have you found on your skin a cluster of tiny, white bumps? Not to worry, it’s likely these are just Fordyce spots. Also called sebaceous prominence, these spots can occur in both sexes, but are more commonly prone to men. Often formed in and around the mouth and lips, and also on the genitals, they are generally harmless though cosmetically unpleasant. So the question is: do Fordyce spots ever go away?
Do Fordyce Spots Go Away?
Fordyce spots are tiny, only about 1-5 millimeters in diameter. They appear to be little bumps that are yellow or white in color. Fordyce spots can be found inside the cheeks or around the lips. They can also occur on the penis shaft and scrotum, or on the labia.
Fordyce spots occur in 80-95% of adults. It is likely that you are born with them, and they just become more visible after puberty. Sometimes there is just one Fordyce spot, but usually there is a cluster of around 50-100 of them. Stretching the skin makes Fordyce spots easier to see.
Do Fordyce spots go away? Yes. With or without treatment, these non-contagious spots tend to slowly fade away on their own. But it is also common for Fordyce spots to reappear, even if treatment has been done. Many people who find Fordyce spots on their lips and/or genitals seek medical attention early on. While there is plenty of information available on the internet, it is always best to consult a medical professional before self-diagnosing.
What Causes Fordyce Spots?
Fordyce spotting often occurs when there is an existing health problem, for example, when a person is under high levels of stress, or is experiencing profound anxiety. It can be hereditary in some cases. Fordyce spots develop when the skin’s natural oils (sebum) become trapped within the sebaceous gland. Fordyce spots are found particularly in areas where hair does not grow, as trapped oil accumulates there with no escape. Then, bacteria grow which causes inflammation.
What Can I Do About Fordyce Spots?
Although the answer to “Do Fordyce spots go away?” is positive, try some of the following remedies to aid in reliving symptoms could not hurt.
Incorporating more garlic into your diet can be helpful, as garlic kills bacteria in your blood stream. Since bacteria helps Fordyce spots grow, garlic is an excellent natural remedy to keep them away.
- Personal hygiene
As with any medical condition, personal hygienic maintenance is always important. Keeping the affected area clean can help lessen the aggravation of Fordyce spots, and keep it from getting worse.
To help your Fordyce spots relieve themselves, vitamins are a key factor. Folic acid or vitamin B complex will help shrink the papules. Folic acid can be taken in supplement form, or in foods like dark green leafy veggies such as spinach and asparagus. Vitamins A, C, D, E, and K are also beneficial.
- Stay hydrated
There are numerous health benefits to staying hydrated with water. Water helps strengthen the immune system so it can better fight the germs and bacteria that make Fordyce spots grow. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day is recommended.
- Aloe Vera gel
Aloe Vera gel has antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is useful for treating a number of skin disorders, including Fordyce spots. Using this remedy is as simple as applying the Aloe Vera gel directly on the inflamed affected area.
- Tea tree oil
You won’t experience side effects using tea tree oil, so it’s a great treatment for Fordyce spots. Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that reduce the growth of bacteria and provides relief for irritation and redness. Apply a few drops of the oil on the affected area and rub gently.
- Jojoba oil
Jojoba essential oil contains antibacterial agents. The wax in jojoba oil makes it moisturizing for the skin, and it also stops bacterial growth. Like tea tree oil, apply it on the skin 2-3 times daily until the spots disappear.
Honey is often used for skin infections, as it is a soothing antiseptic agent. It’s great for treatment of Fordyce spots because of its antibacterial properties. Apply a bit of organic honey mixed with a couple drops of the essential oils mentioned above directly to the patch of spotting.
Lemon is a natural disinfectant, useful for treating bacterial infections on the skin. You can squeeze the juice out of a lemon and dab it on the Fordyce spots. What a cheap and easy remedy!
- Vanilla and sugar scrub
You can make a scrub from vanilla extract and sugar that can be used on the inflamed skin, particularly on the face. Vanilla is moisturizing, while the sugar acts as an antibacterial agent.
- Coconut oil
Fordyce spotting can occur as a result of dehydration, so coconut oil is great because it is a natural moisturizer. Fordyce spots will certainly reduce in visibility after applying coconut oil mixed with lavender oil on the area.
- Oatmeal bath
Although the answer to “Do Fordyce spots go away on itself” is yes, an oatmeal bath can help relieve symptoms.It is commonly used for treating eczema, another skin disorder, but can be also useful in the case of Fordyce spots. The soothing properties of oatmeal baths help to reduce inflammation and redness.
Since Fordyce spots are not contagious and pose no threat to the patient, medical treatment is usually not necessary as long as you do not squeeze or pick at them.
However, when appearing on the lips and genitals, these spots can be a cosmetic concern for some. A vaporizing (CO2) laser treatment and electrosurgery have both been effective. Micro-punch excision surgery, photodynamic therapy, bichloracetic acid, and oral isotretinoinhave also been reported as successful treatment methods.