How Do You Get Rid of Fordyce Spots?

Medically Reviewed on 2/7/2023

6 ways to get rid of Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots
Fordyce spots are not considered a sexually transmitted disease.

There are several treatments to get rid of Fordyce spots, including natural remedies and other medical treatments.

  1. Topical treatments
    • Apply over-the-counter creams and gels containing retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) or alpha-hydroxy acids to the skin to help reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots.
    • These treatments promote skin cell turnover and exfoliation, which can help smooth out the skin and make the spots less noticeable.
    • These treatments reduce the visibility of the spots, but they typically take some time to be effective.
  2. Laser therapy
    • CO2 laser or pulsed dye laser can destroy the sebaceous glands that cause Fordyce spots. 
    • This treatment is more invasive and may require multiple sessions, but it can effectively remove the spots.
    • Laser therapy is a safe and effective way to reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots on the skin. It targets the pigment in the spots, breaking it down and dispersing it, thereby making the spots less visible.
  3. Cryotherapy
    • Involves freezing the Fordyce spots using liquid nitrogen, which destroys the sebaceous glands. 
    • This invasive treatment option may require multiple sessions, but it can effectively remove the spots.
    • A safe and minimally invasive procedure with a high success rate in reducing the appearance of Fordyce spots.
  4. Electrocautery
    • Uses an electric current to destroy the sebaceous glands that cause Fordyce spots. This is a more invasive option, but it can effectively remove the spots.
  5. Surgery
    • Electrosurgery: A minor procedure in which the dermatologist applies a high-frequency electrical current to the Fordyce spots, causing them to burn.
    • Micro-punch surgery: Your dermatologist will "punch" your skin by using an instrument that creates 1 to 2 mm wide holes in the skin, specifically targeting the Fordyce spots and removing tissue with a pen-like instrument.
  6. Home remedies
    • Include applying aloe vera gel and lemon juice to the affected area, as well as drinking lots of water to help flush out the impurities in the skin.

Some of the natural remedies that may help remove Fordyce spots include:

  1. Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Has antimicrobial and astringent properties. The astringent properties of ACV help control excess oil production. Mix ACV and water in equal proportions and apply on the spots two times a week.
  2. Garlic: Has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that help eradicate bacteria from the bloodstream. Consuming garlic daily may help destroy bacteria and maintain oral hygiene. For this, take crushed garlic cloves and blend them with water. Add lemon juice for flavor.
  3. Coconut oil: Dry and dehydrated skin can result in excess secretion of sebum. Coconut oil can be used as a moisturizer to treat dry skin and prevent excess sebum production. Apply coconut oil directly to the spot or mix with lavender oil to apply.
  4. Jojoba or argan oil: Rich in vitamin E that is effective against various skin infections or skin conditions. Mixing these oils and applying them on the spot may help treat Fordyce spots.

There is no direct scientific evidence to prove the efficacy of these natural remedies to treat Fordyce spots; hence, always consult a doctor before trying out these remedies.

By following these methods, you can reduce the visibility of Fordyce spots on your skin. None of these methods will provide a permanent cure, and they may require multiple treatments to be effective. Therefore, consult a dermatologist to see which treatment is best for you. Additionally, Fordyce spots are not harmful and do not require treatment.

What are Fordyce spots?

Fordyce spots, also known as sebaceous prominence, are small (1 to 3 mm), raised, pale, yellow-white bumps that can occur on the lips, inside the cheeks, and on the genitalia. They are not contagious and generally asymptomatic, but they can be unsightly and embarrassing, so many individuals seek ways to reduce their appearance.

Although Fordyce spots are not harmful, if you have concerns about their appearance, you may want to speak with a dermatologist to discuss potential treatment options.

What do Fordyce spots look like?

Fordyce spots, also known as Fordyce granules or Fordyce bumps, are small, raised, pale, or yellow-white bumps that can appear on the skin.

In appearance, Fordyce spots look like the following:

  • Small: Usually range in size from 1 to 3 mm.
  • Raised: Slightly elevated above the skin's surface.
  • Pale or yellow white: Have a pale or yellowish color, making them stand out against the surrounding skin.
  • Smooth: Have a smooth surface and are not rough or scaly.
  • Painless: Not painful or itchy and does not cause discomfort.

They typically range from pale red to yellow-white and can be anywhere between 0.2 and 2 mm in size. Moreover, they may be clustered together or scattered, and a chalky or cheesy substance may come out if they are pressed.

Fordyce spots are completely benign and harmless and do not pose any health risks. However, some people may be self-conscious about their appearance and seek treatment to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.


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What causes Fordyce spots?

Fordyce spots are caused by enlarged oil glands; however, there is still some uncertainty regarding their exact cause.

The following are some of the most commonly cited causes of Fordyce spots:

  • Sebaceous glands: Fordyce spots are believed to be caused by the presence of sebaceous glands. These glands secrete an oil called sebum, which helps keep the skin and hair moisturized. When these glands become enlarged, they can cause the formation of small bumps on the skin's surface.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes that occur during puberty or menopause can cause the sebaceous glands to become more active and enlarge. This increased activity can lead to the formation of Fordyce spots.
  • Genetics: Fordyce spots may be inherited and run in families. A person who has a family history of these spots is more likely to develop them.
  • Inflammation: Inflammation of the sebaceous glands can cause them to enlarge and result in the formation of Fordyce spots. This can be caused by various factors, including skin conditions such as acne, infections, or injury to the affected area.
  • Aging: The sebaceous glands may become less active with age, decreasing sebum production. However, in some individuals, the glands can become overactive and enlarge, causing Fordyce spots.
  • Gender: Men are more likely to develop them than women. 

Fordyce spots are a normal occurrence in many people and are not considered a sign of illness or disease. If you have concerns about the appearance of these spots, speak with a healthcare provider for a proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment options.

How to take care of the Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots can be effectively managed by following the below care:

  • Maintain good hygiene: Good hygiene practices can help prevent infection and reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots. Regularly washing the affected area with soap and water and keeping it clean and dry can be helpful.
  • Avoid irritants: Certain products, such as lip balms, toothpaste, and cosmetic products, may contain irritants that can worsen Fordyce spots. Avoid using these products or choose mild and nonirritating alternatives.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help keep the skin hydrated, which can reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots.
  • Eat a balanced diet: A healthy and balanced diet can help improve skin health and reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots. Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and low in sugar and processed foods can be beneficial.
  • Use a warm compress: Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots by reducing inflammation. A warm compress can be made by soaking a clean cloth in warm water and applying it to the affected area for a few minutes.
  • Consider over-the-counter treatments: Several over-the-counter treatments are available that may help reduce the appearance of Fordyce spots, such as tea tree oil, witch hazel, and aloe vera. However, check with a doctor before using any new treatments as some may be irritating or cause an allergic reaction.
  • Consult a doctor: In some cases, Fordyce spots may be more persistent or noticeable and may require medical intervention. If the appearance of the spots is causing significant distress or if they are accompanied by other symptoms, consult a doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

For individuals concerned about their appearance, the above measures can help reduce the visibility of Fordyce spots and improve overall skin health.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 2/7/2023
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Fordyce Spots: What to Know: