Fordyce spots are also known as Fordyce granules or sebaceous prominence and they are small raised and pale-red spots or bumps that may occur on different parts of the body including the labia, penis, scrotum, and vermilion border of lips. They may also be found on the foreskin of penis. When you have Fordyce spots on lips, you may want to see a doctor. Although they are not considered to be harmful, they may cause distressing moments.
While Fordyce spots are considered harmless, developing them often indicates you might be having too much fat in blood, or hyperlipidemia. This is according to a recent study conducted in 2014 by Ajman University, UAE. The Fordyce spots were first discovered by a dermatologist, John Addison Fordyce, and they are not a disease as such but a state of skin.
The Fordyce spots are mostly small granule-like structures and they are mainly found growing around or in moist areas of body such as the lips and genitals. The grains should not be a cause for alarm and they are not painful either. These spots are also not contagious and cannot spread infection. They are also not spread by bacteria or virus.
However, these spots could have cosmetic effect on a person’s body. When they form on other parts of the body such as the genitals, they may create fear considering that people may think they have STDs. At times, when they become very prominently visible, it means an individual begins to worry about their look. This may cause embarrassment and could result in emotional effects and loss of confidence.
Fordyce spots are present in all people right from the time of birth however, they may become actively visible when one attains adolescent. These spots originate in sebaceous glands. These glands secrete a substance known as sebum. In majority of the cases, the sebaceous glands have hair follicles where the sebum gets out.
At times, when sebaceous glands don’t have hair follicles, the sebum substance may be trapped inside and it appears in form of bumps or granules. At time of puberty, the glands tend to become active and it is during this time when Fordyce spots begin to be noticed. The spots can appear any time in life.
Sometimes, they can appear in puberty and they remain for the rest of your life. When one is lucky, the spots may gradually disappear over time. However, studies hint that elderly people have lesser of these spots than young people. The spots will just form on skin and they remain there without causing harm or infection. They will not have pus and they are painless. They may vary in size from 2 mm to about 3 mm in diameter but at times, they can be as small as 1 mm.
Fordyce granules or spots are sebaceous glands with no hair follicles. While the cause of Fordyce spots is not clearly known, they are believed to be caused by presence of oil in skin or sebum. The sebaceous glands will secrete sebum into hair follicles. However, since the Fordyce spots are sebaceous glands without having follicles, it means that oil or sebum is likely to be trapped inside.
There is also a genetic link associated with the development of these spots. However, what is known is that the Fordyce spots are not caused by pathogens like virus or bacteria. They are also not contagious and people having them cannot transfer them to other people. When they occur in genitals, one should not fret about having sexually transmitted disease.
Treatment of Fordyce spots on lips
Physicians do not typically recommend treatment for these markings because they are benign. However, because of the cosmetic issues that people tend to associate with these spots, they may want to seek for some treatment to enhance their look. These spots tend to disappear on their own without needing treatment and an individual may want to consider leaving the pumps alone so that they self resolve. This is the most recommended approach in dealing with these Fordyce spots.
Proper care as well as patience is however needed. There are also other remedies, which may help in treating the spots. Having a change in diet such as taking garlic may help in remedying the spots. The garlic will help in killing bacteria in bloodstream meaning there is reduced visibility of the spots.
When you maintain good personal hygiene, the bumps will not get worse. It is important to keep the lips clean and avoid using makeup products that could cause the bumps to worsen. Having a diet rich in vitamins especially folic acid or vitamin B complex can help in reducing the bumps and allow them to self-resolve easily.
In case the bumps are bothering you, you may want to seek for treatment by a cosmetic surgeon, where laser treatment may be applied. This treatment helps reduce the visibility of the spots. Vaporizing laser for instance CO2, helps diminish the appearance of Fordyce spots.
A study conducted in 2003 by Medipiel Centros Dermatológicos in Monterrey, Mexico, it indicated that CO2 super-pulsed laser treatment can successfully an safety be used to treat these bumps for cosmetic benefits. Nonetheless, the evaporative treatment may leave behind some scars.
Another less invasive procedure, which may be applied to treat the sebaceous granules, is pulse dye laser, which eliminates the spots. This treatment uses intense and gentle burst of some yellow light to the skin. When the light is absorbed by blood vessels in skin, it makes the vessels to coagulate thereby reabsorbing into body through a normal healing process. This treatment can be expensive and it does not leave scars.