Fordyce spots are tiny, raised and pale red or yellow-white in color. These spots are common in both males and females. On the lips, the Fordyce spots are really small in size from around 1–2mm in diameter. They look like yellow-white spots near the lips, on the border, upper lip and sometimes also in the oral area. These spots on lips occur when the ectopic sebaceous glands become too full with oil or pus, also known as sebaceous hyperplasia.
Fordyce spots on the lips can often be present among people at birth and more commonly during the puberty. In some rare cases they can also persist throughout the lifetime. However as a person gets older the spots can get fewer. The spots don’t normally cause any pain or irritation and are mainly asymptomatic which means there won’t be chances of other problems developing. However, some people might experience itching or irritation when they indulge in self medication and touch the affected area repeatedly.
The origin of Fordyce spots lies in the sebaceous glands that secrete the sebum which gets away by the hair follicle. When the glands lack the hair follicle the sebum gets trapped in making it look like granule or bumps. During puberty these glands get more active, and thus are more noticeable in the adolescent age when the spots appear and might also stay forever. In some cases the spots might decrease over time.
Identifying Fordyce spots on lips
As this is an asymptomatic condition, in order to detect the spots one needs to examine the lip and mouth area carefully along with the other area of the skin around the mouth. It is also recommended to check for little yellow or white spots, pimples, granules or dot like structures on the skin. There can also be little bumps on the lips. As already mentioned the common symptoms like pain, inflammation and redness isn’t there unless one has attempted an inappropriate treatment. However if such symptoms prevail then it is better to consult a doctor at the earliest.
- Occurrence of tiny yellowish white colored granules
- Bumps on the lips and around the mouth
- The granules are painless and don’t cause much harm
- The spots are not contagious and mostly impact cosmetically
People with these spots end up going to several dermatologists and surgeons but most of the times there is no proper diagnosis or identification due to its asymptomatic nature.
Treatments for Fordyce spots
According to Dermatologists and physicians Fordyce Spots occur as a normal physiological phenomena and isn’t really harmful for the health. In fact, many medical practitioners advise against its treatment. However some of the treatments that people opt for are:
- Electro desiccation: Electro desiccation, also known as laser treatment or CO2 laser has been widely used with success in order to make the spots less visible. It is a purely cosmetic solution. Pulsed dye lasers are also effective in some of the cases. This laser treatment is used for the treatment of the sebaceous gland hyperplasia.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has proven to be a very effective treatment that takes care of the Fordyce spots. The spots are also associated with dehydration and with the help of coconut oil it can get naturally moist. The coconut oil acts as a natural healer. In the place of coconut oil, you can also use olive oil.
- Vitamins: Increasing the daily dose of vitamins can also help lighten the Fordyce spots on lips. In total there are five to six types of vitamins that one must take but that isn’t possible on daily basis thus one can always go for multi vitamin supplements. Increased intake of food items like kale, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, tuna can give what we get from vitamin A. On the other hand Seafood items like crab and salmon and dairy products can complete the need for Vitamin B.
- Proper Hygiene: In any skin disorder maintaining a proper hygiene is the most important precaution even though it doesn’t guarantee 100% protection but is a crucial preventive measure. Washing your face properly and maintaining a good oral hygiene is very important.
- Increased intake of water: This is the most convenient option to treat the Fordyce spots as it easily cures dehydration which is a major cause of these spots. At least 8 to 10 glasses of water should be consumed every day and excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and spicy food should be avoided.
- Cryosurgery: This is to be used in very rare cases and is usually the last option wherein the granules get destructed with the help of extremely cold temperatures.
Fordyce Spots on Lips – Pictures