Fordyce spots are whitish – yellow bumps which can happen inside your cheeks or the edge of your lips. Less often, these spots can appear on labia if you are female or scrotum or penis if you are male. These spots are also known as Fordyce glands or Fordyce granules. Fordyce spots are enlarged oil glands.
They are completely painless, harmless and normal. There are some studies in which are shown that these spots are happening in 70 – 80% of adults. Oil glands are also called sebaceous glands. These glands are usually associated with hair follicles. But these types of spots are happening on your skin where no hair is attached. They usually develop as scattered or isolated bumps but sometimes they cluster together.
These spots tend to be about 1 – 3 millimeters (.04 to .12 inches) in diameter. Fordyce spots are usually flesh – colored or light yellow colored. If Fordyce spots develop in your genital area, then they can be a reddish color. When you are stretching the surrounding skin, then it makes the spots more visible. These spots are most likely to form inside of your lips and cheeks or outside of your lips. Fordyce spots are usually appearing symmetrically on the both sides of lips. They can also occur on the genital area, the labia for women and the scrotum or penis if you are male.
These spots are often barely noticeable but also there are some cases in which they can be unsightly. Fordyce spots are not infectious, itchy or painful. There are rare cases when the Fordyce spots on your penis can bleed during the sexual intercourse.
Other dermatological conditions which can appear similar to Fordyce spots and they include:
- Basal cell carcinoma. This is a type of skin cancer that can appear as a bump, red patch or other growth.
- Epidermoid cysts, which are small, hard lumps that can form under your skin
- Sebaceous hyperplasia, a condition that can cause small, soft bumps to form
- Milium cysts, which are hard, round bumps that can develop on your face
You need to visit your doctor if you have noticed some spots on your skin because you can easily mistake these spots with above mentioned conditions. Your doctor will see if you have Fordyce spots and he or she will tell you which the best natural treatment for your condition is. Also you can mistake these spots in your genital area for sexually transmitted disease and genital warts.
You need to know that Fordyce spots are benign. They are not caused by any disease. Also there are many cases when these spots are not noticeable. But also there are some cases when they can be unsightly. Also you can mistake Fordyce spots for another less benign condition. If you have noticed spots on your genitals, then you need to talk with your doctor as soon as possible because they may be a symptom of STD rather than Fordyce spots. You need to talk with your doctor if you have spots on your lips and you are not happy with their look.
Causes of Fordyce spots
These types of spots are natural part of our anatomy. They are present at birth but they are not usually noticeable until puberty when hormonal changes enlarge them.
Risk factors: There are some studies in which is said that twice as many men as women have Fordyce spots. These spots are most common in people who have oily skin. Also there are other studies which have linked Fordyce spots to more serious ailments. There was one study in which was said that 86.7% of people who have an inherited form of colorectal cancer had spots in their mouth.
People, who have searched about it, have suggested that the presence of these spots might help doctors to identify which families are having a risk of colorectal cancer. Also there was another study in which was said that the large numbers of Fordyce spots in your mouth is associated with hyperlipidemia.
This is a condition which is involving elevated levels of fats in your blood and this are a risk factor for the heart disease. It is important to remember that the mentioned conditions are associated with these spots and they are not caused by Fordyce spots.