Posted on: October 21, 2008 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 56

Fordyce’s spots, also known as Fordyce granules, Fordyce’s condition, and “sebaceous prominence,” are small, painless, pale bumps or spots 1 to 3 millimeters in diameter that may appear on the shaft of the penis, the labia, and the border of the lips of the face. They are harmless, but are a great concern for cosmetic reasons. There is currently no standard treatment for Fordyce’s spots, and doctors don’t recommend treatment. It is possible however, to reduce the prominence of these spots, or even get rid of them completely.

What Causes Fordyce’s Spots?

When people first notice Fordyce’s spots, they usually think that they’re infected with a sexually transmitted disease or STD. On the contrary though, these spots, named after John Addison Fordyce, an American dermatologist, are not associated with any illness or disease, and are a natural occurrence on the body. In fact, they are estimated to be present in 70% to 80% of the population, which means they are very common.

The exact cause of Fordyce’s spots is unknown, although experts think that there is a genetic link. The condition isn’t caused by viruses or bacteria, and also not contagious. The spots are large ectopic sebaceous glands that develop on the moist tissue that lines some body cavities and organs. Usually, these spots are present at birth, but they don’t become prominent until the child reaches puberty.

Diagnosis of Fordyce’s Spots

There is no standard procedure to diagnose Fordyce’s spots. Your doctor will probably diagnose the condition through visual inspection. The yellow or white color of the spots and their location are typical indications that they are indeed just ectopic sebaceous glands, and not something more serious.

Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any abnormalities in your genitals. The spots or papules of Fordyce’s condition are sometimes similar to warts; and both appear at the genitals as well as the border of the lips of the face. Your doctor may also take a biopsy or a blood sample if the spots appear in your genitals to rule out other conditions.

Getting Rid of Fordyce’s Spots

Doctors don’t recommend treatment for Fordyce’s spots because the risk of complications outweigh the perceived advantages of not having the spots. Some people though, especially men, are very insecure of the spots when there are too many of them on the shaft of their penis. The following treatments can reduce or completely get rid of your spots:

  • Tretinoin: Apply tretinoin cream or gel daily to the affected areas. This will reduce the prominence of the spots over time and prevent them from getting worse. Tretinoin cream works best when used in combination with alpha hydroxyacid agents. Tretinoin is a substance that’s normally used to treat acne and keratosis pilaris or “chicken skin.”
  • Isotretinoin: The spots will likely reappear when you stop treatment, so keep on applying the medication. If the spots persist, try using Isotretinoin though, has a lot of side-effects, including: headache, urinary problems, rash, eye irritation, nosebleed, intestinal problems, dry skin, muscle and joint pains, chapped lips, temporary hair thinning, poor night vision, and depression. Do not take this drug if you’re pregnant because it may affect your unborn child, and may cause damage to your liver. Talk to your doctor before using this medication.
  • Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) chemical peels: TCA peels are sometimes prescribed to reduce Fordyce’s spots, but symptoms usually recur as soon as you stop treatment. TCA can peel deeper than other chemical peels that only cause mild skin flaking. It usually takes about a week for the skin to completely peel, and your doctor may recommend using a moisturizer during this time to hasten the peeling process. Also, make sure to use sun protection if you’re using TCA on other parts of your body aside from the genitals, because skin becomes more sensitive during the peeling process.
  • Laser vaporization: The prominence of the spots can be reduced through vaporising laser treatments, such as CO2 laser or electro desiccation. Laser treatments though, may have side-effects such as burning or scarring, so talk to your doctor if this treatment is best for you.
  • Cryosurgery or cryotherapy: Cryosurgery uses extreme cold temperatures to destroy the spots. It is a minimally invasive procedure that often comes with minimal pain and scarring. Risks involved in this procedure include damage to nearby healthy tissue and nerves. It’s normal to experience localized pain and redness after the procedure, but these can be alleviated by analgesics such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin. Blisters may also form, although these usually scab over and peel away after several days.
  • Surgical diathermy or electrosurgery: Surgical diathermy involves the use of high frequency alternating current to cut or cauterize small blood vessels to stop bleeding. It causes localized tissue damage and burning, which are controlled by the frequency and power of a device called electrosurgical generator.
  • Wait-and-see approach: Some people say that Fordyce’s spots sometimes go away on their own, so consider just observing the symptoms for a couple of months to a year. Take note if they seem to be getting less prominent or if their numbers are decreasing. If symptoms don’t go away after a long time, and if they are causing you real embarrassment, then consult your doctor for medical treatment. In addition, eat a balanced diet rich in folic acid, and vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and B complex, because these are good for your skin and promote normal metabolism.

Coping with Fordyce’s Spots Fordyce’s spots can sometimes appear so “ugly” or “abnormal” that people who have them get depressed and fear social rejection. As was mentioned however, the condition is very common, although people tend to not talk about it because they find it embarrassing. Some even get frustrated or mad when doctors tell them that treatment is not advisable because the condition is normal. The following are some tips to help you cope with Fordyce’s spots.

  • Realize that many women/men are not bothered by them: The greatest fear of people with Fordyce’s spots is that their partners will refuse to have sex with them because they’ll think that they are ill; some even go so far as to think they’ll be called freaks. On the contrary though, many women and men don’t really care about the bumps.

Your partner may not even notice them if there are only a few of them on your genitals. Even if your genitals have many spots, you can always explain your condition to your partner. Assuming that you’re making love with someone who likes you very much, then the person should understand and believe you when you say that they are not symptoms of a disease.

  • Talk to people about it: You may be surprised by how many people have this condition. Instead of getting depressed over the thought that you’re so different, which is probably not the case, try getting others to talk about it. You can start with your parents. Ask them if they know about such spots, and whether they know anyone else in the family or outside who has had them in the past. You’ll feel better once you open up about this topic to other people. Discussing it beforehand to your partner will also relieve anxiety and stress.
  • Join online discussion groups: The biggest proof of the wide prevalence of Fordyce’s spots is the huge number of people who discuss them on the Internet. Lots of websites and message boards discuss this condition. Some forums even have archives of stories of people with Fordyce’s spots, where you can learn about how they cope with their condition, and new promising treatments. There are even people who have their own ways of getting rid of their spots, although these may be unsafe. Reach out to these people, and you’ll feel a lot more confident.
  • Don’t be obsessed about it: The fact of the matter is, the spots will most likely remain on your genitals or other parts of your body if you don’t treat them. Since surgical procedure for removal of these spots can be expensive, you may not have a choice but to live with them. Try to get them out of your mind when you’re dealing with people of the opposite sex. Remember that when you get close to someone, you can always discuss them with the person later. Don’t let the spots ruin your social life and self-esteem, because these are only a small part of you, after all.

Talk to your doctor if you feel any pain or itch from your Fordyce’s spots. They can get irritated or infected, especially if you always scratch them. The best way to live with these spots is just to maintain a good personal hygiene, and leave them alone, so you’ll feel better.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy learning how to eat for a healthy heart.

56 People reacted on this

  1. my name is desere cherry. i think i have the fordyce spots that are located on the vagina. how can i get rid of them without taking a visit to the family doctor and getting a prescription?

  2. my name is daniel steward and i hav fordyce spots on my penis and scrotum how can i get rid of them without going to family doctor and just getitn some cream to maybe reduce them?

  3. people, you must apply jojoba oil, i never thought it would do anything, but in desperation, i tried it. ive been using it on my lips for about 3 days and they have continued to shrink more and more to the point they are almost gone! i know what you all are going through and thats why i took the time to write this, give it a shot because doctors sure the hell dont seem to care.

  4. Big long dick and balls with tiny white balls. Already had woman telling me bout em. Girls are scared during sex ad don’t want an STD. So just tell them what they are before they get freaked out and start to worry. I still have a good sex life even with them. Can get annoying tho

  5. i have only just come across this thread and i agree with ME, jojoba oil is a must, this is my first day using it and ive seen a major difference already, the spots con no longer be felt on my foreskin and its only the first day.

  6. I hope ‘me’ is right with the Jojoba oil thing. I’ve been too embarressed to go to the doctors for nearly six years. I’m seventeen and my girlfriend wants to know why I won’t have sex with her. It’s embaressing you know, keeping something like this secret from one you love so much..

    I’m going to get some of the afformentioned oil stuff this monday. I’ll post back sometime next week and tell y’all if it works for me.

    And to everyone on here – I know how embarressing and hard it is putting up with these. You aren’t alone. Millions of people worldwide suffer from these bastard things. If this oil stuff works, my biggest secret will vanish and I’ll never have to tell anybody I know. That would make me a very, very happy guy.

    Peace out.

  7. I have them all over my vermillion border on my top lip, which makes it seem smaller than my bottom lip because they cover its pigment. You can see a faint red outline above it where it would normally be more defined. I have tried many different things that are supposed to get rid of them, and absolutely nothing has worked. Jojoba oil seemed to make even more show up above of the ones I already had.

  8. Hey guys. I’m currently 17 years old with multiple Fordyce Spots on my penis, and I was wondering, even after reading all of the comments, what is the best treatment? I have atleast 40 Fordyce Spots on my penis. >_<

  9. i got these ####ing spots when i was 12. I was scared and like the scared little 12 year old i, i picked them off. BAD IDEA…spots came back and later on 1 of them got some kind of infection and turned into a big red bump. This bump hasnt gone away for about 2 and a half years and im desprate for advice on how to get rid of it.

  10. I have alot of them really not that big of a deal. If your gonna have a one night stand don’t mention them cant really see them with a condom on. it does make one night stand blowjobs hard to get unless you want to explain what they are to some girl you just met.If your in a relationship just explain what they are most girls don’t give a shit plus look on the bright side you have a naturally ribbed cock like one of those studded dildos

  11. Hi im 16 years old i have been suffering from these whits spots on me penis for about 2 and a half 3 years now i am 2 scared to go to me doctor as im scared they will laugh if anyone has any advise then it would be much appreciated … thanks

  12. I have been able to get rid of Fordyce Spots by using Jojoba oil on the affected areas after I shower every day. You will see results in a couple of weeks.

  13. Speaking from a woman/girls point of view…you guys don’t need to sweat the fordyce spots. they wouldn’t bother me, not even for a blow job. anyone worth anything will not have issue with it. did you hear me joko82? no need to hate your life!

  14. Thank you all. I’ve had these spots since i was like 12 i am now 15 and im still to scared to tell anyone.but now after reading about alot other people with the same problem im feeling alot better. I’ve been wanting to have sex but to scared that my girl will brake up with me and tell everyone i have an STD. but if theres a fast way of geting rid of them plzz. Help me find a fast way to get rid of them.

  15. Hey guys, ive had fordyce spots for atleast 2 years, im 15. i have a girlfriend and shes amazing. we have had done all sexual acts, she doesnt seem to mind about them at all. and shes one of the hottest girls in school. so it shows even the pretty girls dont mind. just think of it like this. who needs a dotted condom when you have fordyce! peace out

  16. I have multiple fordyce spots on both scrotom and my shft of the penis and i am 17 years old and it hasnt stopped me from sleeping with anyone i enjoy getting out there and not being really shy about them to be honest they help the sex from being with my gf it feels like a ribbed condom wich fasicnated me and it got my confidence up she said best sex i have ever had wich i can say theses spots are not the worse things in the world

  17. I have these spots on my upper lip and i thought it was a razor burn from me getting a mustache trim. It doesnt itch, sting or any of that. just looks discolored. I want to get rid of this a.s.a.p. Has anybody had them and got rid of them?

  18. Hi.

    I am a 30 year old male, and just recently formed Fordyce spots on foreskin, and the way I realised I had “Fordyce spots” was when I was with a Lady and she went down on me, and freaked out thinking I have a STD. In short – it freaked me out thinking myself I had an STD, so I went to the doctors and got informed that I had Fordyce spots!

    In short, I have had treatments that were unsuccessful

    1. I had an attempt to burn off….didn’t quote work was still there
    2. a stronger at attempt to burn off….didn’t quite work it was still there
    3. had a laser treatment,…..didn’t quote work still there
    4. Now I have had a MUCH stronger attempt at burning it off + roaccutane. (will see how that goes)

    My concerns is the side affects of roaccutane, does anyone know how roacctuante and Proscar go well together?

    And it sounds easier said then done “telling a girl” ……..I cant wait to pick a girl up…..get into her pants…and just before we are about to have sex….oww just so you know I have a bumpy foreskin……talk about killing the mood!

    I am hoping this latest attempt of burning will get rid off it!

  19. Yep got them they have totally shattered my confidence, 1st noticed when i was 15 i’m 30 now, everyone thinks i’m gay coz i turn women down left right and centre but really i’m scared of more humiliation and weirdness, wish there was a dating site for men and women with this issue

  20. Im 14 and ive had fordyce spots since i was 11 at least. im afraid to ask anyone about them and i recently got a new gf and im afraid of how she might react when she goes down to give me head or something

  21. Where can i get that jojoba oil stuff i seriously need something to get rid of these little bastards i have ALOT of fordyce spots on the shaft of my penis and i dont wanna have to deal with these things anymore. espacialy because i just got a new girlfriend and these things really need to be gone. i tryed tretion cream and got a bad rash which sucked. so if anyone can comment on this that would be a bigg help.

  22. Hi im 14 and i have had them for about 3 years now i was wondering if jojoba oil is really affective because Fordyce’s really stop you from asking out really hot girls !!! and should i go to the doctor ?

  23. I am 15, and I have had Fordyce spots for a long time, and I have sex alot, and I am gay, if anyone asks me to have sex, and I don’t want to, I just say I have an STD, and it works. But I have never had a problum with this, I guess dudes don’t care much about it. Well anyway, I don’t really care that I have it, and I think treatment sounds painful, so i’m just keeping it.

  24. I have had these since i was 13 and i have had sex with 4 girls since i was 14 and now im currently 14 and no girls seem to be bothered by it. both virgins and girls who have had sex before so there is nothing to be worried about im not sure if they were told about it in sex ed or whatever but they bluddy should anyway 😀

  25. Hi I’m 15 and I’ve had these spots since I was about 13. I never knew if they were related to puberty or anything so I didn’t put much attention to them. Finally devised to look them up and here I am. Now I’m scared about getting head because I’d think the girl would freak out. I haven’t gotten it looked at cuz my doctor has never said anything after physicals. Where can I get this jojoba oil stuff?

  26. I’ve had these little guys on my shaft for as long as I can remember. I just thought they were hair follicles that didn’t sprout. Never bothered me until I got some along the ridge of the head, then I thought it was warts even though they’re really really tiny.
    I guess these are also what I have around my lipline! They’re also really small, but they turn into zits once in a while (if you ever had a zit on your lipline, you know how much they hurt and are annoying and that shaving them off by accident really sucks). Haha I used to try and dig them outta my lips, but now I’m going to try this jojoba oil and see how that goes.
    I guess I got lucky cause all of mine, on face and junk, are so small you have to stretch the skin to see them good.

  27. Yo im 15 and iv had these things for 2 years its pritty annoying because form 14 to 25 are like the prime sex years and i dont want these little f**kers on my cock its so embarrising but i guess if a girl really does like you they wont give a toss but i want to be normal

  28. I’ve had them for about 5 years now and they’re not going anywhere… does jojoba oil really work? and has anybody tried the famous anti sebum stuff? please let me know, thanks

  29. I have these and I’ve had them for at least 8 years. I’ve had sex with 8 girls in the last 5 years. I only told one of them about it, and we dated for 11 months. I don’t think they’re really anything to worry about, but I’d rather not have them.

  30. I have found this information extremely useful in realising that they are normal and would just like to thank you very much as I have lived through having many of these spots on my penis for 3 years of my life so far. There should be more advertisements for this site and more information on the spots on the web as I have said I found it very useful and shall inform someone about mine now.

  31. Billy i fully agree, i got these things on my shaft of penis an my lips ya feel me. only today have i jus realised the real name and that they ARNT a disease so im soo glader , i also have a urine infection which is unfair , im 15 and ive had a few girls get close in my pants..time to get treatment for my conditions , big shout out to this website an the whole internet!! ..thank you for everything man!

  32. Whats up boys? I got great news for everyone!!! Ive had these little bastards for the past 2 years but Ive finally got rid of them. Ok all that I did is wash my dick with an anti-acne drug called Noxema. It was recommended by my doctor. With 1 week I am completely spot free. It has raised my self-confidence so much. If any1 has any questions email me at

  33. I took this Advice and used noxema the original deep cleanse from amazon dont think its the anti acne one, but anyway iv been using it for couple of weeks and all have them have really faded and i think in a week maybe 2 weeks time they will all be gone. 😀

  34. It’s somehow relaxing to know I’m not the only one with these annoying little bag blotches, the only tip I have is…don’t go trying to ‘pop’ them or dig away at them, if you do you’ll just end up leaving yourself a scar.

  35. Thank you! i had no idea what these were called, im 16 and a virgin so i knew they couldnt be an STD. but ive had them for about 8 years and ive been really worried about them, i was too shy to go to the doctor though. but now i know what theyre called i feel much happier. 🙂 thanks again

  36. I have been using a cream that my doctor prescribed for spots, it is call ‘duac’ I applied it to my penis and the spots appear to have somewhat gone down. I also have them on my ball sack, I don’t suppose anyone could say if this is normal because the article didn’t say about having them here?

  37. Hey I have had these for about a year now and it’s really beggining to scare me becouse I’m only 14 and still a virgin so this really helps but I can’t bring my self to tell my family … Thanks anyway

  38. Hey boys chill about these spots, most nice women don’t care about them because we have them to! This website made me feel better by the way thanks! 🙂

  39. I have had these spot for about a year now on the penis and the scrotum and have been worried until I saw this. I started pubity about a year now, so I hope they just disappear as the only thing that scares me is they don’t go, what I have read anyway. The only way is to laser burn them off individually. Just think you was born with them and there is nothing you can do, if you cannot do anything then don’t worry. Also think that many other men and women have these, you’re not the only one. Just hope they go. Hope this made some people feel a little better

  40. i am pregnant and due in a month and a half, will these spots affect wether i will be able to deliver my baby naturally or will i need a c-section

  41. Burned by the laser to remove the spots fordyce is a medical solution using today’s advanced, highly effective for the treatment of fordyce spots, besides the pain for the patient, which can lead to scarring after when treatment stopped. Try the special treatment introduced in Fordycespotsonlips blog, before you decide to burn them.

  42. Sorry to tell you that these things don’t always go away on their own. They’ve multiplied in my case. I have them inside the lips, both sides, of my vagina from my clitoris to my anus and I used to be able to pop and drain them, but they’re too hard now. I had a gyn halfheartedly offer to numb me up and lance them, but couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t recur and most doctors don’t want to do anything about them. Not a lot of great options, but I look forward to trying the gel and peel.

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