Fordyce Spots

fordyce spotsFordyce spots are granules on the skin which is relatively common among men than in women. It has been named after dermatologist John Fordyce. These spots are a natural occurrence on the skin and are sometimes mistaken for sexually transmitted diseases like genital warts etc. It is rather a benign dermatological condition which is not harmful. Despite not being harmful, these spots leave people feeling embarrassed and worried. Fordyce spots are also known as sebaceous prominence because they occur as a result of the sebaceous glands found on the penile shaft. These glands produce a substance called sebum which is responsible for keeping the skin of the penis moisturized and healthy. 


    sebaceous prominence
  1. The sebum produced by the sebaceous glands passes thought the hair follicles. When the sebum is produced more than usual or the gland does not happen to have a hair follicle for releasing the sebum, it results in the accumulation of the sebum, thereby, small white spots.
  2. Sometimes pimples are seen growing on sebaceous glands with a blocked opening and this also results in the lack of an essential route to escape.
These are painless, pale and small spots or rather bumps, which are 1 or 3 mm in diameter. Fordyce spots are sometimes confused with pearly penile papules, genital warts or Angiokeratoma of the scrotum. 

  1. Pearly penile papules are small bumps that show in the most regular place for Fordyce spots, i.e. the genital area. They look whiter in appearance and are simply skin outgrowths.
  2. Fordyce spots are also mistaken for genital warts which are actually a kind of sexually transmitted disease. Unlike Fordyce spots, genital warts are very contagious.
  3. Angiokeratoma of the scrotum are just as benign as like Fordyce spots and are the results of lesions on the outer layer of the skin. These appear in others areas of the body as well.
fordyce spots sebaceous prominence
Common in men, Fordyce spots develop during puberty and sometimes persist with throughout life. They are neither contagious not dangerous and harmful. They are painless and simple penis pimples. They tend to appear when the body becomes sexually active and might last throughout one’s life.

  1. The Tretinoin gel or cream is very popularly used for Fordyce spots treatment. It has been reported that the prominence of the spots reduce after using this gel. Experts believe that it can be more effective if it is combined with an alpha hydroxyl acid agent.
  2. Another treatment involves the Trichloroacetic Acid chemical peel.  This product helps in peeling off the skin on the spots. This in turn brings about a significant improvement in the look of the spot.
  3. The doctor can also suggest the patient a cryosurgery. It uses cold temperatures to destroy the small bumps. But there is a possibility that this can damage the nerve and tissue of the area adjacent to the spots.
  4. There are some home remedies too. Garlic in the diet can bring about a change in the spots.