What is it?

Fordyce spots are enlarged, slightly raised sebaceous (oil) glands that appear in hairless areas of your skin. They commonly appear around the edges of the lips (vermillion border) and inside of the cheeks. They sometimes appear around the genital area. Fordyce spots are benign.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Fordyce spots
- Fordyce granules

Signs & symptoms

Fordyce spots look like white, yellow, pale red or skin-colored bumps. They may appear as a singular spot or small groups of spots, but they can also appear in clusters of 50 spots or more. They’re easier to see if you stretch out the surrounding skin.
They’re small- typically 1 to 3 millimeters (mm) in diameter, which is about the size of the tip of a sharp pencil (1 mm) or a sesame seed (3 mm).
Fordyce spots don’t cause any pain, but there have been some reports of Fordyce spots on the penis becoming itchy or inflamed during sex.


Fordyce spots are easy to recognize, so you don’t necessarily need a healthcare professional to diagnose them. However, if you notice spots or bumps on your genitals, schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider or dermatologist to rule out an STD or STI.


The doctor may discuss the following Fordyce spot treatment options with you:
* Cryotherapy- Cryotherapy uses extreme cold to freeze and destroy tissue. After cryotherapy, you may experience mild pain in your affected area for approximately three days.
* Electrodessication- Electrodessication involves using a special electric needle to burn away portions of your skin. Your affected areas may take three to five days to heal.
* Laser skin resurfacing- Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser skin resurfacing uses short-pulsed light energy or continuous light beams to remove thin layers of skin with minimal heat damage to the surrounding structures. Your affected areas may take between five and 21 days to heal.
* Micro-punch surgery- The doctor will use a pen-like instrument to 'punch' your skin and remove tissue during micro-punch surgery. Your affected areas may take up to a month to heal.
* Topical treatments- Topical creams, including retinoids like Retin-A, may reduce or eliminate your Fordyce spots. It may take two to six weeks to see results.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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