Do you have Fordyce Spots?

There are spots that occur on different places of the body, and cause a lot of stress when they are found under your belt.  I get a LOT of questions and pics sent to me with people very concerned that they have various Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), depending on what they have recently performed an internet search on. Some should cause some serious concern and some are benign.  Fordyce spots can occur inside your lips on your oral mucosa, or on the shaft of your penis, or on your labia.  I totally understand the freak out that it might be genital warts, or something else, so you should go get tested and assessed, but this is a little information to ease your worry before you get your results!

What are Fordyce Spots?

They are small, painless bumps that are 1cm to 3 cm in size and they can either be skin toned, white, or a little pink/red in color.  As I stated before, they are commonly found in on the inside of the lips, on the shaft of the penis or scrotum, and on the labia, and they are really a common occurrence, but occur more with age. Usually you only notice them when you see or feel them, but at times they can be a little itchy. They occur because the sebaceous glands, the oil glands associated with hair follicles normally that secrete sweat and oils, instead of being inside of the epidermal layer (deeper in the skin) are more superficial, and close to the outer layer of skin, making them very visible. These glands fill with oil, and there is no hair shaft for them to leave the skin, so they are basically little oil filled cysts. That’s it. They are not known to lead to a disease or are not a sign of cancer or any other virus/disease, but they just tend to be a visual disturbance for some people…and their partners.

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What can I do if I have them?

If you go to your Healthcare Provider (HCP), and get diagnosed with Fordyce Spots, they will give you some options for treatment, if it really is bugging you from a cosmetic standpoint, because they are not detrimental to your health in any way. And, they usually go away without treatment on their own. But healthy diets including Vitamin A, B, D, E, and K can usually help them from forming, and go away faster when you have them, so basically, if you get Fordyce spots, take a multivitamin daily and it can help to prevent them.  Good hygiene including exfoliation and moisturizer can help to decrease them from forming (so that your body doesn’t produce excess oil; this works on both the lips and the genitals), and there are some reports that people with either eat more garlic or take garlic supplements have a lower rate of the spots.  Your HCP may prescribe Trentinoin cream, which is a cream that can basically makes the cells replenish faster, so you ave never skin cells forming, which can prevent the skin from getting clogged up with oils. But, again, the only treatment you may need is time.

All of this being said, you do need to get checked out by your HCP if you do have any new skin issues, especially in your genitals, and you are sexually active, you really need to make sure that it is something benign and not Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in the form of genital warts, herpes, or any other Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI). Get yourself checked out to be on the safe side, but also realize that every bump isn’t contagious or infectious!

Yours in Good Health


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21 thoughts on “Do you have Fordyce Spots?

  1. could you get these on the opening of the vagina ? or just the lips

    • You can also get them in the opening as well, if it is near a hair follicle with a sweat gland present. Are you concerned?

        • Hey im a 20 year old male, Ive noticed tiny white bumps in the corners inner of my upper lips three days ago. They do not hurt, but tend to bitr at it. It swelled alittle, as I frequently wash my mouth w Listerine. I should try peroxide.. im alittle worried, any insight?

          • most likely they are fordyce spots and are benign and will go away on their own. You can also try to rinse with Gly-Oxide to help ease any discomfort!

  2. I think I have fordyce spots but I’m to embarrassed to go to a clinic

    • You should not be embarrassed at all! healthcare professionals are there to help you and not to shame you; I promise that going to the clinic will make you feel better!

  3. Hey im a 20 year old male, Ive noticed tiny white bumps in the corners inner of my upper lips three days ago. They do not hurt, but tend to bitr at it. It swelled alittle, as I frequently wash my mouth w Listerine. I should try peroxide.. im alittle worried, any insight? –

  4. argh ! I have them since long time ago, but sometime they get bigger… would an acne cream do the job?

    • acne cream won’t work unfortunately, but a daily multivtamin, exfoliation, and you can use a gentle exfoliating facial wash. There are also reports of garlic supplements helping (it seems that hasn’t been proven to work, but some people report it works for them!)

  5. I have the same thing and when I shave it look very ugly like I have a std are something. Im a virgin and afraid to have sexual intercourse with my partner because of the appearance of my vagina. I am shades darker down there so it looks very bad. Time is not a treatment for me because I have had this for a year now and its still there.

    • Monica, it sounds like you might not be ready for sex if you are so worried about your body, and maybe your partner isn’t the right one? Regardless, I urge you to go see your healthcare practitioner and talk to them about your concerns. There are many different options and treatments, and they can help you to figure out what the source of your concern is. Best of luck!

  6. Do they feel like bumps if u feel under the skin a little on penis? Thank you

    • yes they feel like little bumps on the skin- they are not painful but you can see them and feel them: small white or pink bumps. If you aren’t sure or they appear flesh colored, you might want your healthcare practitioner to check them out and make sure they aren’t something else.

        • Mike, taking multivitamins and exfoliating the area can help to make them go away faster and prevent them from forming, but you can also get a cream from your HCP that can help to make the cells regenerate faster and they will slough off. Then keeping up with exfoliation will prevent them from coming back!

  7. But how can you tell the difference between fordyce spots and genital warts??

  8. I don’t think these spots ablate with time. I’ve seen pornos with men in their 50’s with this condition.

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