Fordyce Spots on Lips and Shaft – Causes and Treatment

Any time we see small spots on our bodies we start to panic. But, what if these spots are located in key areas, such as our lips or our genitals? In this case we start to panic even more. If you have noticed small spots on your lips or on your genitals, you may think that you have a sexually transmitted disease and that you are in a big danger. Fortunately, it is not always the case.

Sometimes there is no reason to worry, because you have only Fordyce spots. Have you ever heard of them? Do you know what are Fordyce spots? These spots are also known as ”sebaceous prominence’’ or ”Fordyce granules”. The name of these spots comes from the dermatologist who discovered them, John Addison Fordyce. This condition is also called Fordyce’s lesion or Fordyce’s disease, even though it is not considered to be a real disease.

In this article you will find out more about Fordyce spots on shaft and lips. We will tell you what are the most common causes of this condition and we will also tell you how to treat it properly.

What Are Fordyce Spots?

Fordyce spots are actually small and raised spots that may be yellow-white or pale red. These spots usually appear on the shaft of the penis but also on the lips of a face. They are common in both females and males of all ages. Fordyce spots may also be defined as a type of sebaceous glands that are located on the skin, but they are not in the hair follicle.

As we have already said, Fordyce spots are not considered as an illness or disease. They are only a cosmetic problem because these spots don’t look very nice when they appear on your face. When Fordyce spots appear on the shaft of the penis, men usually wonder if they have some sexually transmitted infection or maybe cancer. But, as we have already said, these spots are harmless and you don’t have to worry.

When Do Fordyce Spots Appear?

Fordyce spots are normal occurrence and they tend to appear even in children at age 3, but in this case they are not visible. These spots increase during the period of puberty and they become more visible later in adulthood. Studies have shown that about 80% adults have oral Fordyce spots. In most cases Fordyce spots appear in a small number, but if there is a plenty of these spots, it could be a cosmetic concern.

Now you will see what Fordyce spots causes are and how you can recognize the symptoms of this condition.

The Causes of Fordyce Spots

Many people with Fordyce spots have gone to dermatologists and also to plastic surgeons, but they were not able to diagnose these spots. Fordyce spots are not easily diagnosed and sometimes they have been treated as some other condition. It is necessary to use dermatoscope in order to detect these spots, but very often some additional tests may be necessary as well.

Studies have shown that sebum is the main cause of Fordyce spots. Actually, these spots appear when the sebum is trapped in glands and when there’s no way to get discharged from your body.

The most common cause why these spots appear on upper lip is a lack of hydration. In order to prevent these bumps to appear, it is necessary to keep your lips hydrated all the time.

Some studies have shown that people with greasy skin and also people who have some rheumatic disorders are more likely to have Fordyce spots on their skin.

Very often Fordyce spots are the result of too much stress and anxiety, so they are considered as a psychological occurrence on the skin. Also, some other health conditions may be the cause of these spots.

The Symptoms of Fordyce Spots

The most common symptoms of this condition are small and pale spots (1-3 mm) that may be white, yellowish, pinkish or in some other color. As we have already mentioned at the beginning of this article, Fordyce spots may appear on the lips, actually on the border where the lips meet the skin of the face.

Fordyce spots in women usually appear on the lips of the face but also on the inner side of the vagina. When it comes to men, these spots may appear on the shaft of the penis as well as on the skin of the scrotum. Fordyce spots are visible on the shaft of the penis but only when there is an erection.

The most important thing is that Fordyce spots are absolutely harmless and they are not itchy. Also, they are not painful, but sometimes they may bleed during the intercourse, which may cause panic in people.

These spots may not be dangerous for human health, but if they are a cosmetic concern, it is possible to treat them. Below we will show you how to get rid of Fordyce spots.

The Treatment of Fordyce Spots

Fordyce spots are not harmful for our health, so they don’t require any treatment. These spots will gradually go away on their own. But, if someone has cosmetic concerns, then it is recommended to visit a dermatologist.

There are many people who don’t know what Fordyce spots are and how to get rid of them. Many young people are feeling embarrassed because they have these spots on the area of their lips or genitals. If Fordyce spots are a cosmetic problem, there are many methods to treat them.

Electro Desiccation. This is one of the best techniques that will make the Fordyce spots less visible. This treatment is also known as CO2 laser and it has been shown as a very successful treatment. Also, this treatment is a minimally invasive procedure, so many people opt for this method.

Pulsed Dye Lasers. Another treatment that has also been shown as very effective is pulsed dye lasers. This is actually a laser that is used for treating the sebaceous gland that is very similar to Fordyce spots. Although this treatment is very expensive, it doesn’t leave as much scars as some other methods. This is why many people opt for pulsed dye lasers.

Micro-Punch Technique. This technique is used as a part of a surgical treatment and it has been shown as a very effective method for treating Fordyce spots.

Clindamycin. If there are oral Fordyce granules on your face or on other parts of your body, you can treat them topically with clindamycin.

Tretinoin gel. This gel or cream should be applied topically on the skin, in order to reduce the prominence of Fordyce spots. You should apply this gel directly on the affected area of the skin. For better results, it is recommended to mix this gel with alpha hidroxy acid, which is also known as a great topical gel.

Trichloroacetic acid chemical peel. This chemical solution is also very effective in treating small spots on your skin. Actually, it penetrates deep into your skin and causes it to peel. This way the affected skin is being removed, so a new layer of the skin has been formed. But, you should know that this chemical solution should not be applied on your lips because it can irritate them. You can apply it if you have Fordyce spots in your genitals. But, make sure that you are using only a small amount of this chemical peel. It is known that high concentrations of trichloroacetic acid can lead to scarring.

Cryosurgery. One of the methods that can also help in removing Fordyce spots is cryosurgery, but it is applied rarely. In this method Fordyce bumps are destroyed by extreme cold. But, this method is risky, because it can damage some tissues that are located around Fordyce spots.

But, there are also some home remedies that may help you get rid of Fordyce spots. Below we will show you which home remedies and natural methods are the best for Fordyce spots removal.

Home Remedies For Fordyce Spots

Coconut Oil. As you probably know, coconut oil is very effective in the treatment of many health problems and diseases. Also, this oil is shown to be very effective in the case of Fordyce spots. This is actually one of the best methods to get rid of these spots naturally.

As we have already mentioned above, spots on the upper lip appear due to a lack of hydration. In this case coconut oil can help you a lot. This oil is known as a great natural moisturizer. You can use pure coconut oil for your lips, but you can also mix it with some other essential oils. If you don’t have coconut oil, olive oil may help you as well.

Essential Oils. It is known that essential oils can help in treating many diseases and illnesses. If you want to remove Fordyce spots, we also recommend you to try essential oils. The best essential oil that will certainly prevent Fordyce spots to appear is jojoba oil. It will also help you get rid of these spots for a very short time. Other essential oils that may be helpful in treating this condition are tea tree oil, palmarosa oil, benzoin oil, frankincense oil and many others. It is recommended to apply these oils on affected areas three times a day and you will notice the results very soon.

Vitamins. If you want to remove Fordyce spots, you should increase your daily intake of vitamins. It especially refers to vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K. These vitamins are the most important if you want to prevent or to get rid of Fordyce spots. And where can you find all these vitamins? Which foods contain them?

Vitamin A is found mostly in kale, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, tuna and mango, while you can find vitamin B in the foods such as salmon, crab, oysters, mussels, mackerel and skim milk. The foods that are rich in vitamin C are strawberries, pineapple, pepper, kiwi and kale. One of the foods that is especially rich in vitamin C is broccoli, so experts recommend to eat this vegetable in large amounts. If you want to boost the intake of vitamin D, you should consume salmon, tofu, caviar, butter and also whole grain cereals. Vitamin E is found mostly in almonds, hazelnuts, parsley, avocado and olives. When it comes to vitamin K, you can find it mostly in eggs, beans, basil, kale, cucumbers, as well as in soy beans.

Now when you know what are the vitamins that you need and which foods are rich in these vitamins, we are sure that you will boost the daily intake of them. If you consume these vitamins regularly, you will prevent Fordyce spots to appear, but you will also remove them if they have already appeared.

Now you will see some of the foods that may also be helpful in the case of Fordyce spots, so you should consume them more often.

Asparagus. Asparagus is a food that promotes the healthy growth of cells in your body. It is the vegetable with the highest content of folic acid. Experts recommend eating this vegetable if you have problems with Fordyce spots. Also, asparagus is rich in vitamins A, C and K, which are very important for your overall health. It is recommended to eat about a cup of asparagus every day if you want to get rid of Fordyce spots naturally.

Garlic. All of us probably know that garlic is a very effective home remedy for many diseases and conditions. Garlic has great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it will certainly help you remove Fordyce spots from your body. It is recommended to consume a teaspoon of chopped garlic every morning and then to wash your mouth with a glass of water. Another option is to drink a glass of garlic juice every evening before you go to bed. This way you will avoid the unpleasant smell of garlic during the day.

Spinach. Spinach is also known as a very effective home remedy in treating Fordyce spots. It is an excellent source of folate acid that is very important in the treatment of these spots. Also, spinach is a great source of vitamins A, B, C, E and K and we have already said how much these vitamins are important for your health. All these vitamins are necessary if you want to have soft and clean lips.

Citruses. We have already mentioned that the foods rich in folic acid are of a great importance for treating Fordyce spots. So, it is necessary to mention citruses as well. Citrus fruits that contain the highest levels of folate acid are oranges, grapefruit, papaya and strawberries. Not only can you eat these fruits every day, but you can also use them topically on your lips. You just need to add any of these fruits in water and to dab Fordyce spots using a cotton swab. You should repeat this process for a couple of days and you will see the results very soon.

Lemon extract. Lemon has antibacterial properties, so it is considered a natural disinfectant. It can also help you get rid of Fordyce spots. You just need to squeeze it from a pulp and to apply it directly on the inflamed skin.

Honey. Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, honey is usually used as a home remedy and it can be very effective for treating many skin conditions. Also, honey can help you in treating Fordyce spots. It is recommended to mix honey with an essential oil, such as jojoba, coconut or olive oil. This way it will be much easier to apply it on the skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar can help you in treating many diseases and conditions. Also, this vinegar is very effective in the treatment of Fordyce spots on your lips. You should not apply apple cider vinegar directly on the affected area, because it may be painful. It is best to mix two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, in order to avoid a burning sensation. It is recommended to use apple cider vinegar topically 2-3 times a week. If you use it more often, you may irritate your skin, so it is best to avoid the frequent use of apple cider vinegar.

Turmeric. Turmeric is known to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties, so it can be very effective in treating Fordyce spots. It can also reduce the growth of bacteria on your skin. You just need to take about ¼ tablespoon of turmeric powder and to mix it with apple cider vinegar. This way you will get a great herbal tonic that you should apply topically to the inflamed skin. It is recommended to apply this solution two times a day for the best results.

Chamomile. Due to its soothing properties, chamomile can relieve many skin conditions. It is proved that chamomile treats itchy lesions on the skin and it is recommended especially if your skin is too sensitive. You can apply fresh or dried leaves of chamomile directly on the affected area but you can also prepare chamomile tea and apply it on the inflamed skin. If you use chamomile regularly, Fordyce spots will disappear within a couple of weeks.

Vanilla and sugar scrub. Have you ever tried vanilla and sugar scrub for your face? This is a great home remedy that can treat many skin conditions due to its antibacterial properties. Not only will this scrub remove all the spots from your face, but it will also nourish and moisturize your skin. It is recommended to apply vanilla and sugar scrub two times a day. You can apply it directly on the affected area and the spots will probably go away within a week.

Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe vera gel may also be helpful in the case of Fordyce spots. You should apply this gel directly to the affected area of your skin. It is known that aloe vera gel has antifungal and antibacterial properties, so it is very effective in treating many skin disorders.

Water. We have already told you that Fordyce spots on lips usually appear when the lips are dry, so it is necessary to hydrate them all the time. In order to keep the lips moist, you should drink a plenty of water during the day. Experts recommend at least 8 glasses of water per day. Also, it is recommended to avoid coffee and other hot drinks because they can irritate your lips.

Oatmeal bath. Did you know that oatmeal bath can also be beneficial in treating many skin conditions? It has been used to treat eczema since long ago. Also, it is proved that oatmeal bath can help you get rid of Fordyce spots in the area of your genitals. This bath will also reduce the inflammation and the redness of the skin.

Proper Hygiene. Proper hygiene is the most important in order to prevent many diseases and illnesses. Also, proper hygiene may prevent Fordyce spots to appear. It means that it is necessary to wash your face regularly and not to touch your lips with dirty hands. This way you will block the transmission of the agents that may cause the infection. Also, you should have a shower every day and wear loose clothes. It is necessary to avoid sweating in the genital region, so you should avoid tight fitting underwear.

Now you have seen some of the best home remedies and natural ways that may help you get rid of Fordyce spots. If you have tried all of these methods but the spots are still there, we recommend you to consult a doctor.

Of course, there is a question whether Fordyce spots will disappear completely after the treatment or not. Even though Fordyce spots go away after the treatment, they may occur again. But, you should not be worried because these spots are only a natural occurrence on your skin and they are absolutely harmless.

Are There Any Side Effects Related To Fordyce Spots?

As we have already said, Fordyce spots are not harmful and they are treated as a psychological occurrence. But, sometimes these spots may be very unpleasant for the person and they may cause psychological side effects, such as anxiety or depression. People who have these spots usually feel embarrassed, so these spots may affect them in emotional sense. Young people who have Fordyce spots usually lose their self-confidence and they avoid company.

As we have mentioned,  if found in the genitalia, these spots may start bleeding during the intercourse, so a person may be worried what his/her partner will think about it. But, as you have seen, there’s no reason to worry.


You have seen in this article that Fordyce spots are a skin disorder that affects both women and men. It affects people of all ages. Fordyce spots are actually sebaceous glands that are visible, so they may appear on different parts of a human body, such as the lips on the face but also the genitals in both males and females. Fordyce spots are actually small, raised and painless spots that are usually pale, white or pinkish.

As we have already said, Fordyce spots are not infectious, so they are not associated with any disease. They are considered as a natural occurrence on the body that cannot have a negative impact on our health. Although Fordyce spots are harmless, they are not easily diagnosed. However, Fordyce spots may be a cosmetic concern, especially for young people, so in this case Fordyce spots treatment will be necessary.

There are many medical methods that may help you remove Fordyce spots from your face and body, such as Electro desiccation, Pulsed dye lasers, Micro-punch technique and many others. There are also many gels and creams that your doctor may prescribe you for Fordyce spots cure.

But, in most cases home remedies can help you get rid of Fordyce spots. There are many home remedies and natural methods that may be helpful, such as the use of coconut oil and other essential oils. Also, it is important to make some modifications in your diet and to increase your daily intake of vitamins. There are also certain foods that may be useful for treating Fordyce spots, such as asparagus, turmeric, lemon, honey, spinach, chamomile, as well as apple cider vinegar.

It is also very important to drink a plenty of water during the day and to have a proper hygiene, in order to prevent or to treat Fordyce spots on your skin.

If you also have Fordyce spots on your lips or in the area of your genitals, you don’t have to worry. As we have already said, Fordyce spots are not considered as an illness, so the treatment is not required. But, if these spots are a cosmetic concern for you, you can try some of the methods that you have seen in this article. We hope these methods will help you treat Fordyce spots as soon as possible.