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Fordyce spots: what they are and how to get rid of them

Fordyce spots are small yellowish or whitish spots that may appear on the lips, on the inside of your cheeks or on your genitals, which arise naturally and do not cause problems for your health.

These spots can appear due to enlarged sebaceous glands and therefore may appear at any age, being more frequent during puberty because of the hormonal changes. They are not related to HIV, herpes, sexually transmitted diseases, genital warts or cancer.

Although Fordyce spots do not need any specific treatment, there are ways you can eliminate them for aesthetic reasons by creams or even having laser surgery.

Fordyce spots: what they are and how to get rid of them
Fordyce spots: what they are and how to get rid of them

What can cause the spots to appear

Fordyce spots are usually present from birth; however, they may not be easily seen. After adolescence, and with hormonal changes, these spots can become larger and more visible.

The spots can appear in anyone but are twice as frequent in men and in people with very oily skin.

Are fordyce spots contagious?

Fordyce granules are not contagious or caused by an infectious agent such as bacteria or viruses. They arise naturally in the region of the mouth or genitals.

Treatment options

The treatment of Fordyce spots is carried out only for aesthetic reasons, but it is not always possible to completely eliminate the lesions. Some of the more common options include:

  • Use of ointments and creams, with tretinoin or dichloroacetic acid: which eliminate skin changes, but should only be used if prescribed by a dermatologist;
  • Micro-puncture technique: Slight anesthesia is applied and then the doctor uses a device to remove the granules from the skin;
  • CO2 Laser: The doctor uses a strong ray of light that removes the granules from the skin, however this technique can leave scars and therefore should only be performed by a dermatologist.

These treatment techniques can be used to remove or disguise Fordyce spots from all parts of the body, even in the genital region.

Natural remedies like jojoba oil, vitamin E or argan extract have been successfully used in the treatment of Fordyce spots in combination with medication.

In addition, it is always important to avoid squeezing Fordyce granules at home as this technique does not cause them to be eliminated and may even increase the risk of a skin infection.

Main symptoms

The symptoms of Fordyce spots are the appearance of small yellow or whitish spots, isolated or clustered, in the region of the mouth or genitals. Fordyce granules in the mouth usually appear on the upper lip, inner cheek or gums. In the genital region, especially in men, the appearance of Fordyce granules in the body of the penis, glans, foreskin or testicles is common.

Fordyce granules do not cause pain or irritation, altering only the aesthetics of the region where they arise.

In the presence of any of these signs or symptoms, the dermatologist should be consulted to make the diagnosis of the disease and discuss treatment options.

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