We’ve all experienced bumps and spots on our bodies at some point in our lives. Any lump or protrusion in the arms or legs can be distressing. And when it appears in the key areas like your genitals or lips – the panic is real. In fact, any mark or bump on the lips is immediately related to herpes or sexually transmitted diseases. In some cases, unfortunately, this assumption is true. However, tiny white bumps on the lips can also be caused by Fox Fordyce disease, a non-communicable infection that doesn’t cause any pain or significant damage to the lips.
What are Fordyce Spots?
Fox Fordyce disease or Sebaceous Prominence is a skin condition where small white dots are found on the lips and the insides of your cheeks. The yellowish, reddish bumps can also appear on the male and female genitalia. The Fordyce granules might look weird and ugly but they’re surprisingly painless and incommunicable. What’s more, they’re more common than you’d think- research shows about 70-80% adults have Fordyce spots on the top lip. These spots have no medical consequences whatsoever, they are more of a cosmetic problem than anything else. And a few homemade remedies or ointments can help you get rid of these spots for good.
What Causes Fordyce Spots on Lips?
The ectopic sebaceous glands found along the hair follicles produce an oily substance called sebum. Fordyce spots are produced by the sebaceous glands without hair follicles. These spots are present since infancy, some even believe that Fordyce glands develop in the embryonic stage inside the womb. However, it is only when you hit puberty, that the hormonal changes in the body actually trigger and enlarge the glands. Bacterial growth in and around the sebaceous glands can also cause these spots to occur on the skin.
Fordyce Spots Symptoms
Here are some common signs and tell-tale symptoms to lookout for.
- Bumpy yellow and pale spots and patches around the lips and cheeks
- Yellowish bumps on the genitals
- Mild itchiness
- Reddish skin and pale patches in the surrounding skin
How Long do Fordyce Spots Last?
Fordyce spots on the upper lip are hardly noticeable unless you stretch the surrounding the skin and look closely enough. The small, pale spots measure roughly 1-3mm in diameter and make the skin appear pale or slightly reddish. A cluster of 50-100 spots might be visible from a distance and hence have an impact on your appearance. Oftentimes, it also appears on the penis or scrotum in males and on the labia in females. Although these spots aren’t itchy or painful, it might cause bleeding in the genital areas after or during coitus.
Are Fordyce Spots Bad?
Fordyce spots pose no health risks, they’re merely a cosmetic issue that can be dealt with ointments and simple home hack. However, a study published in the Dental Research Journal linked the spots in the mouth with hyperlipidemia, a heart disease caused by high cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Another report generated by the Clinical Case Reports and Reviews in 2015 revealed how the problem was more common among men, especially those who had oily skin. The bumpy, uneven skin and rashes affect your overall appearance and can cause anxiety and depression in some people.
How to Get Rid of Fordyce Spots on Lips with home remedies?
Garlic is one of the most popular and effective home remedies for curing Fordyce spots in both the face and other sensitive areas. You can chew a few garlic cloves on an empty stomach every morning to reduce the bacterial growth on the follicles. And if you find that to be too difficult, you can crush a few cloves to a paste-like consistency and apply it on to the affected area. Leave it overnight and wash it the next day with cold water.
Turmeric is a potent anti-bacterial agent that can be used in a number of ways to reduce the nasty pale spots and patches on the skin. Turmeric paste is an effective Fordyce spot treatment for removing bumps from the genitalia. Its the soothing properties prevent any damage to the sensitive skin. You can use turmeric with other agents like apple cider vinegar and mustard oil to get instant results. Drinking a glass of turmeric milk every day is not just good for your immunity but also keeps your skin glowing and healthy.
3. Sandalwood Powder
Sandalwood powder is fragrant and soothing on your skin. It has several medicinal uses and can effectively cure rashes, itchiness, cuts, and bruises on the skin. Mix 1tap of sandalwood powder with 2tsp of honey and a few drops of olive oil. Mix these ingredients to form a paste-like consistency. Apply a small amount of this paste on the yellowish spots, leave it to dry and then wash it off with cold water.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar with its anti-bacterial properties is a smart choice for reducing Fordyce spots in lips. We suggest you don’t use this remedy in your sensitive areas as ACV might cause skin irritation and itchiness. Also, ensure that you use a properly diluted version of ACV, concentrated ACV can cause aggravate your problem rather than curbing it. Apply a mixture of ACV and water directly on the patched area, use a cotton swab to gently spread the mixture all over the spots, leave it for a while before rinsing it off with cold water.
Honey is not just used as a sweetening agent anymore, it has several medicinal and cosmetic uses that we will be talking about below. For starters, honey has antiseptic properties that prevent bacterial growth in and around the affected area. Secondly, organic honey, mixed with olive oil can be used as a moisturizer- it doesn’t just remove the spots, but also lightens skin tone and reduces blemishes.
The chamomile flower is not just known for its fragrant and aesthetic properties but also medicinal uses. Chamomile extracts, oils or tea works wonders for curing skin lesions, rashes, and spots on the face. Boil two to three dried up flowers in a cup of water, drink this mixture every morning on an empty stomach for best results. You can also grind the dried-up flowers and mix them with water to make a paste. Apply the paste on the spots, leave it overnight, and wash it off with cold water early next morning.
Oatmeal doesn’t just belong to your breakfast bowl but also on your skin! Oatmeal is a tried and tested home remedy for curing eczema, acne, and blemishes. But what many people do not know is that this simple kitchen ingredient can also reduce Fordyce spots just as effectively. Soak one cup of oatmeal in lukewarm water, apply the softened oatmeal paste directly on the spots and wash it with cold water. You can also prepare a soak- add some oatmeal to your bath with essential oils and then soak in it for 30 mins every day.
Buttermilk is an astringent, it soothes the inflammation and irritation caused by the Fordyce spots. Apply buttermilk to the affected area gently with a cotton swab and then wash it off with cold water. For best results, you can repeat this process a few times during the day. Buttermilk also works as a great moisturizer, hydrating the skin and cleansing it deeply.
9. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is an age-old remedy for curing rashes, cuts and skin spots. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil also make it an excellent moisturizing agent. Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with a few drops of lavender extracts or olive oil. Mix it well and apply it gently to the spots inside the lips. Wait for 20 minutes before rinsing off the excess oils with cold water. In fact, coconut is the best lip balm, better than the shiny and expensive lip gloss available in cosmetic stores.
10. Olive Oil
Olive oil like coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer and hydrating agent. It keeps your skin soft and glowing, gently exfoliating any dead skin cells or dirt that has accumulated on the follicles. Wash the affected area with anti-bacterial soap, pat the skin dry with a cotton towel. Then, slather generous amounts of olive oil onto the spots, massage in a clockwise motion and leave it for a few minutes. After some time, you can wipe your face with a clean towel, removing any excess oil on the skin.
11. Aloe Vera
Everyone knows about the healing properties of Aloe Vera, the wonder ingredient found in pretty much every organic cosmetic product. However, the natural cosmetics contain Aloe Vera extracts and that too in very limited amounts. Use Aloe Vera in its purest form, i.e. to cut up to the leaves and apply the gooey paste-like substance inside on the Fordyce spots. Leave it on for a few minutes to dry and then wash it off with cold water. Repeat the process twice a day, for a week and watch the spots lighten and then completely disappear.
12. Essential Oils
Essential extracts of lavender, eucalyptus and tea tree oils are used for curbing the growth of pale spots along your lip lining. Prepare a homemade oil mix by combining all these essential oils in equal proportions. Massage this solution directly onto the spots and leave it for 30 minutes (or as long as it would take to completely dry up). Wash off the oils with lukewarm water and pat your face dry with a soft towel. For best results, repeat this process everyday for a few weeks.
13. Fruits and Veggies
Including fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet gives you the proper nourishment and energy to function properly. However, we are not going to talk about your diet here. Vegetables like broccoli, cabbages, asparagus, and lemons can be applied as face masks to reduce Fordyce bumps on lips. You can also blend fresh fruits like papayas, raspberries, strawberries, and grapefruit into pulp and apply it gently over your skin. Keep it for a few minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water.
14. Lifestyle Changes
Maintaining basic hygiene prevents the spots from recurring. Wash the affected area with cold, clean water every hour or so. Also, switch over to an anti-bacterial soap and wash your clothes separately. Other lifestyle changes you can adopt would be to stay hydrated, cut down on your caffeine and alcohol intake and wear loose fitting clothes. Stop using chemicals and artificial cosmetics on your face as it might aggravate your condition.
How Long Do Fordyce Spots Last on Lips?
In most cases, Fordyce spots disappear over time and are hardly noticeable. However, if you have a large cluster of spots on your lips then it can be a problem. With these home remedies, treating Fordyce spots on lips has become easier, quicker and hassle-free.