What You Should Know About Fordyce Spots Appearing on Your Skin

Shocked young man with his hand on his mouthTo many people, new bumps on the skin might seem unsightly. When those bumps appear on the outer border of the lip and the inside lining of the cheek, or on the skin of the genitalia, people might consider these spots alarming and worrisome.  “Of course, any new growth or bump on the skin should be evaluated to ensure it is not cancerous,” says Dr. Kellie Reed, board certified Dermatologist at Sanova Dermatology. One type of bumps, known as Fordyce spots, is common and not dangerous.

When Fordyce spots appear, these bumps often look pale red or yellow-white in color. They’re caused by sebaceous glands – the glands that release the oils that lubricate and skin and hair. “In the case of Fordyce spots, these glands aren’t associated with any hair follicles and are instead found on mucosal surfaces,” says Dr. Reed. That’s how they appear on the lip, cheeks, and the genitalia of both men and women. They may appear more prominent when the skin is stretched. When there are a lot of these spots in one place, the Fordyce spot may appear as a patch on the skin.

Though the Fordyce spots may seem alarming, they are not any sign of disease or illness. Many people who are concerned about the appearance of these spots do have treatment options. Cauterization and lasers can be used to make the spots less visible.

Though Fordyce spots are benign, the American Association of American Dermatology recommends that any unusual spotting of the skin be examined by a medical professional. That’s because these spots are often confused with genital warts and other skin conditions that need proper treatment and management. People may also mistakenly think they have Fordyce spots, when they have another skin condition, such as epidermoid cysts, sebaceous hyperplasia, or milia (small whitish lesions found on the face).

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If the appearance of unsightly bumps and spots on your skin has you wondering what they are and what you should do, please contact us for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.

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