Fordyce spots or Fordyce granules are small painless yellow or white sebaceous glands that appear as spots or bumps mainly on the scrotum, shaft of penis, labia as well as on the vermilion border of the lips and the inside of the cheeks. Fordyce spots develop along the sebaceous glands which are glands in the skin that secrete oils (sebum) for the hair and skin. The size of the fordyce spots is typically between 1-5 mm and it can appear as a solitary lesion or cluster. They are easier to spot when the skin is stretched, and can resemble small grains of rice.
Fordyce spots are not considered a disease or illness nor a sexually transmitted disease (STD). However, some of the STDs can resemble the Fordyce spots and therefore is it recommended to be assessed by a dermatologist.
What are the treatments for Fordyce spots?
While harmless, Fordyce spots are a source of worry for many. Most patients want them removed for cosmetic reasons. The following are some of the most successful treatments for removing Fordyce spots:
– Laser treatment uses a focused light targeting the fordyce spots which then ablates the skin lesions at an extremely high temperature. The heat seals the skin around the wound minimising scarring and pain.
– Electrosurgery is a minor procedure where the dermatologist uses high frequency electrical current to the fordyce spots, which burns them away.
– Punch excision is achieved by using an instrument that produces 1-2mm wide holes in the skin, targeting the fordyce spots. The individual spots are then removed manually and each hole receives a stitch.
– Other efficient treatments for the Fordyce spots are photodynamic therapy (PDT), cryotherapy, bichloracetic acid and oral isotretinoin.
At your appointment, Dr. Doumit will discuss your goals and expectations. He will then explain the treatment options and a plan to achieve your desired effect. After cleansing the area to be treated, a numbing cream will be applied. Your procedure will then begin. The procedure usually lasts between 15-30 minutes.
Redness of the treated area is the main reaction post procedure. Minimal discomfort can be a side effect after the effect of the anesthesia wears off.
No recovery time is required and you can return to day to day activities immediately following your treatment. If the genital area is treated, it is recommended to avoid sexual activities for 7 days.
It is recommended to apply an occlusive barrier ointment such as Vaseline or Aquaphore for the first 48 hrs.
Maintain a clean area where the procedure was done, especially the genital area, to prevent any infection.
You will receive all the information necessary post procedure from our well-experienced nurses.
If you are bothered by your fordyce spots, know that there is a solution for you. Book a consultation with our dermatologist Dr. Doumit to explore your treatment options.