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What are Fordyce spots?

What are Fordyce spots?123

Fordyce spots, is a condition that presents itself on the skin. They are small, elevated yellowish-white bumps and can show up as a single sebaceous prominence or else can be clustered in groups of many. It is a benign dermatological condition that does not present any medical harm to the patient. However, despite it not being dangerous, many people who have the condition are often left feeling embarrassed and worried about the condition. Once other conditions are ruled out by a physician, the patient still might have concerns over the cosmetic aspect of Fordyce spots. The patient also, oftentimes, is left feeling as if he/she is one of the only people with the condition.

Fordyce spots can be found on various places on the body, including the mouth and nipples. Most commonly, however, these sebaceous prominences are found on the genitals. Affecting both men and women, the condition is estimated to affect seventy to eighty percent of the population. More common in men, it has been reported that ninety percent of the male population is affected by Fordyce spots. However, despite the high rate of occurrence, the condition is still relatively unknown to the general public. Because of this fact, a patient exhibiting Fordyce spots might unnecessarily panic about the severity of the condition.

Although resembling a sexually transmitted disease such as genital warts, a Fordyce Spot is simply a sebaceous prominence. This means that there is a raised sebaceous gland present on the skin. Sebaceous glands are found all over the skin’s surface, most notably on areas of the body containing hair follicles. In the case of Fordyce spots, the sebaceous glands do not contain hair follicles, but the glands themselves sometimes end up protruding from the skin. This protrusion is what causes the yellow, little bumps characterizing the condition.

The papules, or little bumps, that lead to Fordyce spots are actually present even at birth. It is upon reaching puberty that a sebaceous prominence, such as a Fordyce Spot, will develop. As Fordyce spots often show up in the genital region of the body, many people with the condition tend to not talk about it openly. Often immediately assuming that the bumps are an indicator of cancer or a sexually transmitted disease, the patient may put off discussing the condition with others, including his/her doctor due to fear and embarrassment. However, there is no need for alarm and concern. Although cosmetically not an ideal condition to have, Fordyce spots are much more common than one realizes.


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