Fordyce spots are a very common yet potentially distressing condition, usually affecting the face (especially the mouth and lip area) and the genital area. These spots are sebaceous glands that are malfunctioning as result of the oil (sebum) they produce becoming trapped inside, and are not infectious. The sebaceous glands that become Fordyce spots do not have hair follicles. While harmless and usually asymptomatic (lacking any symptoms), Fordyce spots are something many people want to eliminate for cosmetic reasons. In this article, we will discuss the causes and symptoms of Fordyce spots, as well as home remedies to help alleviate the problems posed by this condition.
Fordyce spots are also referred to as Fordyce granules and sebaceous prominence.
- 1 Symptoms of Fordyce Spots
- 2 Home Remedies for Fordyce Spots
- 2.1 1. Garlic
- 2.2 2. Jojoba oil
- 2.3 3. Argania oil
- 2.4 4. Coconut oil
- 2.5 5. Olive oil
- 2.6 6. Tea tree oil
- 2.7 7. Asparagus
- 2.8 8. Spinach
- 2.9 9. Apple cider vinegar
- 2.10 10. Orange juice
- 2.11 11. Asparagus paste
- 2.12 12. Turmeric milk
- 2.13 13. Lemon juice
- 2.14 14. Spinach soup
- 2.15 15. Avoid chemical beauty products
- 2.16 16. Use gentle exfoliation
- 2.17 17. Avoid hot beverages
- 2.18 18. Avoid licking your lips
- 2.19 19. Lemon syrup and orange juice mix
- 2.20 20. Garlic juice
- 2.21 21. Probiotics
- 2.22 22. Zinc
- 2.23 23. Limit your levels of biotin
- 2.24 24. A generally healthy lifestyle
- 2.25 25. Frankincense essential oil
- 2.26 26. Palmarosa essential oil (also known as palma rosa oil)
- 2.27 27. Galbanum essential oil
- 2.28 28. Benzoin essential oil
- 2.29 29. Consume more of vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B complex
Symptoms of Fordyce Spots
Fordyce spots usually present the following characteristics:
- Spots are small, usually around 1 mm to 3 mm in diameter.
- Spots present themselves on the face (usually the lip or mouth area) or on the genital area. An especially common area to see these spots is on the vermilion border of the lips (the border between the pink color of the lips and the flesh-color of the rest of the face).
- Spots are raised, and usually pale red, yellow-white, or the same color as the flesh. When they appear in the genial area, the spots can be bright red or purple.
- Spots may appear individually or in small groups, or in large groups (for example, 50 or 100).
- Sometimes the spots are easier to discern when you spread out the skin of the affected area
If you think you might have Fordyce spots, you should visit your doctor. While the spots themselves are harmless, you need to make sure that it is indeed Fordyce spots that you have, and not a different condition that requires treatment.
Your doctor might need to use an instrument called a dermatoscope to assess the spots. It is possible that he or she will do a biopsy, too. There are many different possible conditions your doctor will need to rule out in order to reach the diagnosis of Fordyce spots, including:
- Molluscum contagiosum
- Calcinosis cutis
- Sebaceous carcinoma
- Follicular infundibulum tumor
- Sebaceous adenoma
- Fibrous papule of the face
- Cowden disease
- Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1
- Muir-torre syndrome
If your Fordyce spots are on the genitals, your doctor might have to carry out tests for sexually transmitted diseases.
Although it is not medically necessary to treat Fordyce spots, you may want them removed for cosmetic reasons. If that is the case, there are a few different options with which your doctor may present you, including:
- Vaporizing laser therapy: a treatment which harnesses the power of light to eliminate the spots. A CO2 laser is the type most often used.
- Electrodesiccation: involves applying electric current with a high frequency to the bumps, which dehydrates them and consequently eliminates them.
- Pulsed dye laser treatment
- Tretinoin gel/cream, sometimes mixed with alpha hydroxyl acid
- Trichoroacetic acid chemical peel: a useful treatment in improving the texture of the skin, as it sloughs off dead layers.
Home Remedies for Fordyce Spots
Garlic is full of antioxidants that will help assuage inflammation of the skin, and is a potent antibacterial and antifungal substance. Eating garlic and applying garlic topically will both be very helpful in eliminating your Fordyce spots. Make your diet garlic-rich and/or take a set amount of garlic every day (for example, one tablespoon of crushed garlic with water each morning). You can also take garlic capsules instead of eating fresh garlic, if you are concerned about bad breath or indigestion. To apply garlic to the affected area topically, simply grind up garlic and mix it with water into a paste. Apply the mixture to the area with Fordyce spots a few times per day. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before rinsing it off.
2. Jojoba oil
Apply jojoba oil to the affected area a few times daily. Jojoba oil will help by effectively hydrating the area. This is important as Fordyce spots are more likely to occur and spread on dry or dehydrated skin. Jojoba oil has a large amount of tocopherol (vitamin E), which is effective in eliminating Fordyce spots.
3. Argania oil
Apply Argania oil to the affected area a few times daily. Argania oil is an amazing hydrator, and will prevent the dryness that can encourage Fordyce’s spots. Argania oil offers a great deal of tocopherol (vitamin E), which is effective against the problem of Fordyce spots.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is another incredibly hydrating substance. It will also help to reduce inflammation of the skin. Apply a small amount of coconut oil to the affected area every day.
5. Olive oil
Olive oil will help reduce the appearance of your Fordyce spots through hydration and the presence of antioxidants.
Always remember to use proper hygiene: It is especially important to use proper hygiene when Fordyce spots are in a particular area. Use soap and water to gently wash the area daily.
Stay well-hydrated: Staying well-hydrated throughout the day will help keep your skin hydrated and functioning properly.
6. Tea tree oil
Dilute a small amount of tea tree oil with a carrier oil (for example, castor oil or olive oil) and apply it to the affected area daily. Be careful not to use an excessive amount of tea tree oil, as it is a very strong substance and might cause stinging and unnecessary irritation. Leave the tea tree oil on for at least ten minutes. Apply it one or two times per day .
Eat lots of asparagus. Asparagus promotes healthy cell production and growth. This means that the vegetable will encourage new skin cells to grow in the affected area. You can incorporate asparagus into many different parts of your diet.
Add more spinach to your diet. Spinach has excellent healing properties that will help eliminate your Fordyce spots. You could also apply spinach topically to the affected area. Grind up some spinach and mix it into a paste with a small amount of water, and apply the mixture to the affected area daily.
9. Apple cider vinegar
As apple cider vinegar is extremely strong, make sure to dilute it with quite a bit of water before applying it to the affected area. In order to avoid skin irritation, restrict your use of apple cider vinegar to two times per week. Apple cider vinegar will help to quickly exfoliate and smooth the area. Apple cider vinegar also has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties.
10. Orange juice
Make sure to drink orange juice every day. This will help increase your intake of vitamin C, a nutrient that is essential in fighting your Fordyce’s spots.
11. Asparagus paste
crush up asparagus and mix it with water and tea tree oil. Apply this mixture to the affected area twice per day. This will help to reduce the prominence of your Fordyce spots and prevent other spots from arising in the future.
12. Turmeric milk
Mix turmeric powder with warm milk, and drink the mixture and/or apply the mixture to the affected area. Turmeric is famous for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is known to be beneficial to the skin.
13. Lemon juice
Apply lemon juice to the affected area with a cotton ball. You should do this daily. Lemon juice will help to exfoliate the skin. It will also bring the affected area into contact with a large dose of beneficial vitamin C.
14. Spinach soup
Eating a delicious spinach soup every day will help fight your Fordyce spots. The spinach soup should contain spinach, onion, at least one full clove of garlic, and potatoes. Spinach is rich in folic acid, and folic acid is effective in fighting Fordyce spots. Spinach also contains many other vitamins that will help address the problem.
15. Avoid chemical beauty products
Refrain from using chemical beauty products on the area. This is especially applicable if your Fordyce spots are on the face and lips or mouth.
16. Use gentle exfoliation
If your Fordyce spots are on the lips and/or mouth, use gentle exfoliation to help counteract the spots.
17. Avoid hot beverages
If your Fordyce spots are on your mouth and/or lips, avoid drinking hot beverages like coffee and tea.
18. Avoid licking your lips
As licking your lips can lead to drying out of the skin, it is advisable to refrain from doing this.
19. Lemon syrup and orange juice mix
Mix lemon syrup, orange juice, and lukewarm water. Use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to the affected area. You should leave the solution on for at least five minutes, and then rinse it off. Apply this mixture three times daily.
20. Garlic juice
Put crushed garlic (at least two pieces), lemon juice, and water into the blender and mix. Drink the mixture before or after meals, three times daily.
Taking probiotics will help with your overall skin health, and with Fordyce spots specifically. You can buy probiotic supplements at health food stores and drugstores.
Zinc is a mineral that helps control our skin’s oil production. It is also rich in antioxidants. Make sure to eat foods with high levels of zinc, such as nuts, seeds, ginger, beans, eggs, game, meat, and seafood.
23. Limit your levels of biotin
Make sure the level of biotins in your diet is not too high. This is important as over consumption of biotins can make the skin oilier. Foods with high levels of biotin include carrots, tomatoes, hazelnuts, almonds, soy products, egg yolks, and fish.
24. A generally healthy lifestyle
Make sure that you are getting enough exercise and sleep. This is an important factor in skin health.
25. Frankincense essential oil
Frankincense oil boosts the immune system and reduces inflammation. It also has strong antiseptic properties. Apply small amounts of frankincense oil to the affected area, using cotton wool. Start slowly, to make sure that your skin will not respond with too much stinging. You should leave the frankincense oil on the skin for a period of time, and then gently rinse off with lukewarm water. Gently pat the skin dry.
26. Palmarosa essential oil (also known as palma rosa oil)
Palmarosa (palma rosa) oil is antibacterial, and boosts the immune system. It also promotes cell renewal and growth, making it particularly useful for dealing with Fordyce spots. Apply a small amount of palmarosa oil to the affected area, using a cotton ball. Make sure to start with a small amount at first before building up to more. Leave the oil on for a period of time, and then gently rinse off the skin with lukewarm water.
27. Galbanum essential oil
Galbanum essential oil is highly emollient, and has healing and soothing properties. Galbanum oil helps to rejuvenate the skin. You should apply this oil to the affected area every day. Leave it on for a period of time, and then rinse it off the skin with lukewarm water and gently pat dry.
28. Benzoin essential oil
Benzoin essential oil has healing and soothing properties when applied topically on the skin. You should apply this essential oil to the affected area daily.
29. Consume more of vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B complex
Take supplements and/or increase the level of these vitamins in your daily diet.
Below are examples of foods rich in these vitamins:
- Vitamin A: Sweet red peppers, sweet potatoes, mango, squash, tuna, dried apricots, kale, carrots, romaine lettuce
- Vitamin B: Clams, crab, salmon, milk, mackerel, mussels, Swiss cheese, oysters, goose eggs, beef liver
- Vitamin C: Pineapple, cauliflower, kiwi, strawberries, kale, peppers, mango, Brussel sprouts, papaya, citrus, broccoli
- Vitamin D: Whole grain cereals, butter, tofu, swordfish, caviar, lean ham, mushrooms, cod liver oil, trout
- Vitamin E: Turnip greens, almonds, Swiss chard, olives, pine nuts, papaya, avocado
- Vitamin D: Soy beans, cucumbers, Brussel sprouts, kale, scallions, basil (dried), strawberries, eggs, beans, asparagus