We all want to look and feel our best at all times. When we look good, we feel good and are more confident. But what if you start to notice small, white, yellowish spots on your lips or the genital area? Given some of the relations of white spots with cancer and STD’s you will likely be worried, and the white spots will also affect your looks. Though they do not cause any pain, they can be a cause of cosmetic distress for many people.
White spots are mostly harmless and you most likely have Fordyce spots.It is estimated that about 70%-80% of adult population is affected by Fordyce spots at any given time, making them quite a common occurrence. Let’s know more about them.
What are Fordyce spots?
Small white or red bumps on the lips, chin, genital area are known as Fordyce spots. These benign bumps are also referred to as Fordyce’s lesion, Fordyce’s disease, and Fox Fordyce disease. These white spots appearing on the skin’s surface are generally harmless, are not painful and are neither contagious. They are basically a group of cells that secrete oils. When they secrete abnormal sebum (oil) they become a breeding ground for bacteria.
The bacteria cause inflammation and they appear as whitish, reddish, and sometimes yellowish or skin colored bumps on the skin. Fordyce spots can appear on the lips, penis in men, labia in women and sometimes on the scrotum. These sebaceous ectopic glands do not pose any health risk whatsoever but can be of a cosmetic concern for many. They occur in men and women both, irrespective of age and have nothing to do with sexually transmitted diseases.
What causes Fordyce spots?
Though the exact cause of Fordyce spots is not yet known, they have been linked with infection of the oil-secreting glands that get infected due to excess oil secretion. While most sebaceous glands have hair follicles that help secrete the oil all the way to the hair shaft, the glands that do not have hair become infected as the oil is not removed. This causes infection, subsequent inflammation and results in white bumps on the surface of the skin. They are most likely to surface after puberty, and men seem to have them twice as much as women. (Ruth Holt, Graham Roberts and Crispian Scully. “ABC of Oral Health: Oral Health and Disease.”)
Home remedies to get rid of Fordyce spots on Lips
Though harmless, Fordyce spots are often a cosmetic concern to most people. Though doctors do not recommend any treatment, and there is no standard treatment available, Fordyce spots can easily be gotten rid of with easy and effective home remedies. These remedies can be easily prepared with ingredients available at home and do not pose any risk of side effects as well.
1. Apple cider vinegar for Fordyce spots
You need: 2 tablespoons of Apple cider vinegar mixed with one glass of cold water
Drinking a solution of apple cider vinegar and cold water twice or thrice a day can help vanish Fordyce spots. You can also apply the solution as it is in the affected area with cotton balls. However, if you experience any burning sensation, discontinue the use.
2. Garlic juice to remove white spots
You need: 2 cloves of garlic, juice of a lemon, a cup of water, blender
Crush the garlic cloves, add the water and blend into a juice consistency. You may add 50 mL of lemon juice if the garlic juice is too pungent for you. Have this thrice a day, before having your meals.
3. Asparagus paste for Fordyce spots
You need: A piece of asparagus, some water, tea tree oil extract, and lemon syrup.
Crush the asparagus and mix with 30 mL water to make a paste. Add equal quantities of lemon syrup and tea tree extract, and mix well. Let the paste settle down for a few minutes. Apply the paste with a cotton ball on the affected areas and rinse off with clean water after a few minutes. You can repeat this remedy twice a day.
4. Coconut oil for getting rid of Fordyce spots
You need: 200 mL of coconut oil, 4-5 cloves of garlic, a pan, a cooking stove
Pour 200mL of coconut oil in a pan and put it on medium heat. Add 4-5 cloves of garlic and let them cook on a low flame for 2 hours. Once slightly cool, separate the coconut oil and the garlic cloves and place the residue in the fridge for cooling down. You can apply the cooled mixture to the affected area once a day to make Fordyce spots go away. Wash with clean water after a few minutes.
5. Turmeric milk and white spots
You need: 50 gm of turmeric powder, preferably home-made and a cup of warm milk.
Mix turmeric powder in a cup of warm milk and drink it once a day. Turmeric comes with excellent anti-fungal and healing properties and milk acts as a moisturizing agent. It is a good remedy to fight Fordyce spots on the genital areas, especially the penis.
6. Fresh fruits juices
You need: Citrus fruits like lemon and oranges
Blend a lemon and an orange in a blender and take the juice in a bowl. Using a cotton ball, apply the juice on the white spots. The white spots would disappear in a couple of days of using this remedy. This is especially beneficial for removing white spots from the lips.
7. Essential oils like olive, jojoba, and argan
You need: A little of olive oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil
On clean lips, apply a little olive oil with a cotton swab to get rid of Fordyce spots. You can also prepare a mixture with equal quantities of jojoba and argan oils and apply it on affected areas. Let the oil stay for 10-15 minutes and then you can rinse off with water. Repeat this remedy for a few days, once a day to effectively get rid of white spots.
8. Oatmeal cold water soak
You need: A cup of oatmeal, a bathtub to soak in
Mix a cup of oatmeal in your regular bathtub and soak in the water for about 30 minutes every day. The remedy will make the white spots disappear from all parts of the body. Make sure that the water is cold to have maximum benefit.
9. Chamomile flowers
You need: 2-3 dried chamomile flowers, 1 tablespoon water
Crush the dried chamomile flowers in a powder form and mix with water. Apply this paste on the white spots and leave it on overnight. A few days of use will make the white spots go away.
10. Honey, olive oil and sandalwood paste for white spots
You need: A tablespoon of organic honey, a few drops of olive oil and sandalwood powder.
Mix honey, sandalwood paste and 2-3 drops of olive oil to form a paste. Apply this paste directly on the white bumps on the skin. Wash off with cold water after an hour of application. Do this once a day every day till the spots go away.
Additional tips and precautions for getting rid of Fordyce spots
- Increase the consumption of green vegetables: Broccoli, cabbage, spinach and asparagus should be consumed in plenty to make Fordyce spots go away. Make soups, eat them raw, or apply them topically.
- Maintain hygiene: Fordyce spots appear when the oil gets trapped under a hair follicle. To keep them away, clean the face, lips and genital areas properly everyday and maintain good hygiene.
- Hydrate yourself: Dehydration can also cause oil buildup and hence white spots. Keep yourself well-hydrated everyday.
- Lip health: Exfoliate your lips regularly and keep away from chemical products. Do not lick your lips as it can cause dehydration and Fordyce spots may appear.
- Wear loose clothing: Wearing tights can cause excess sebum to be trapped in the genital area. So opt for soft, loose cotton fabrics for innerwear.
- Leave them as they are: Do not try to treat Fordyce spots with OTC ointments and medicines. They usually go off on their own, and if they are bothersome, rely on the above mentioned home remedies only.
Do Fordyce spots spread?
No, Fordyce spots are not contagious and do not spread. They are benign and harmless but can be quite ugly to look at. Get yourself checked by the doctor if the pain or you notice any tenderness around.