Fordyce spots refers to a medical condition in which granule-like bumps form on the lips or skin around the mouth. These granules appear small and pale yellow in color. Fordyce spots were first discovered by John Addison Fordyce, a dermatologist hence their name. It is not a disease as such but a medical condition, which shows the state of the skin.
Some individual may have prominent cases of the condition while in others it may not be noticeable. These spots are just a variant of the sebaceous glands and are visible glands containing no hair follicles. It is estimated that about 80 to 95 percent of adults have these spots. They are present at birth, though, they become prominent and visible during puberty and onward.
The spots can occur as solitary lesions or at times, they may occur more frequently in groups ranging from 50 to 100. It is easier to see them when the skin is stretched. The Fordyce spots are mainly found growing in areas around moist tissues of the body such as the genitals or the lips and lining of mouth.
The spots are harmless and they may not cause pain on a person. They are also not contagious and cannot be spread to another person. They cannot also spread an infection. However, because of their appearance, they tend to affect the cosmetic look of an individual.
People may be overly conscious about their look and sometimes, they may feel embarrassed and that’s why they tend to seek for treatment. While Fordyce spots are present in all people at time of birth, in most cases, they become actively visible when a person has attained adolescent age.
People who have severe form of these spots on the vermilion border of lips may experience depression and anxiety since they are concerned about them.
How do Fordyce spots on lips occur – Causes
These spots originate in sebaceous glands. In case you want to know what sebaceous glands are, these are the glands that secrete a substance known as sebum that helps lubricate, protect, and waterproof the skin. The sebaceous glands have hair follicles through which the sebum oil gets out of body.
At times, the glands may not have follicles meaning that they allow sebum to be trapped inside and it is this substance, which appears on skin resembling bumps or granules. Therefore, Fordyce spots are granules of sebum that has been trapped on the skin. At time of puberty, you may notice more of these spots in people because the sebaceous glands are more active at this age.
However, they may also be noticed in any age of a person. Although Fordyce spots are simply sebaceous glands which are not in the right place meaning not in hair follicles, they may not be associated with any illness or disease. Dermatologists say that these spots are only of cosmetic concern because people who have them may not feel unhappy about how they look and they could affect their self-esteem and confidence.
Experts point out that Fordyce spots are just natural occurrences on body and not necessarily an infection or infectious. At times, these spots can bleed when there is an injury on the area they occur. However, they should not be itchy or painful. You may want to consult with a doctor if you have bumps that resemble Fordyce spots but they are accompanied by other symptoms such as pain and itching.
Fordyce spots on lips- Cure
Whenever you have Fordyce spots on lips, you will most likely be concerned about their look. These spots are benign and occur naturally. They will go away on their own over time but it may take many years before they disappear. Sometimes, they can stay and not disappear.
And because they are not harmful, in most cases doctors will advise you to leave them alone and refrain from having any kind of treatment. However, there are treatment procedures that can help reduce the visibility of these spots. They include pulsed dye laser surgery, which tends to reduce the visibility of the bumps.
Sometimes, the method of treatment applied may result in scarring. You should make sure you consult with a dermatologist before you seek for any treatment. Some natural treatments, which may help in reducing the visibility of the spots include use of healthy oils in diet. Omega 3 supplements like cod liver oil may help.
Topical creams such as Tretinoin may help reduce the appearance of these spots. Anti sebum homeopathic products, which are a type of medicines that use derivatives of natural substances, can also successfully reduce the visibility of Fordyce spots.
CO2 laser or electro desiccation is another form of treatment used to reduce the visibility of these lesions. In majority of the laser treatment, they are not effective enough and may not cause them to disappear completely. However, recent developments point out that micro punch technique for treating Fordyce spots on lips may show impressive results.
Fordyce Spots on Lips – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems