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When do they develop and who gets them?

When do they develop and who gets them?123

Fordyce spots are a common dermatological condition. They are essentially just a sebaceous prominence. This means that there is simply an overgrowth of the sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are small glands that produce oil and are present on virtually all areas of the skin, excluding the palms and soles. They are most commonly found in places that hair follicles are present. However, in the case of Fordyce spots, these glands do not contain hair follicles. Often mistaken for other conditions, such as genital warts or even cancer, Fordyce spots are benign. They are essentially just a cosmetic issue, but as they are often mistaken for other, more serious conditions, many patients are interested in ridding themselves of the spots.

Although affecting both men and women, Fordyce spots are more common in men. In fact it is not uncommon to find the spots, also referred to as a sebaceous prominence in almost ninety-percent of the male population. These prominences can present themselves in groups or as single spots. Most often found on the genitals, Fordyce spots are often mistaken for other conditions, most commonly genital warts, or other sexually transmitted diseases. Although not dangerous, many people exhibiting Fordyce spots are embarrassed by the condition. For this reason, many men choose to look into treatment of the condition.

Women are also subject to exhibiting Fordyce spots. Although less common in women, it is still a cosmetic concern that many women would like to eliminate. Although not contagious, as is also the case with men, a sebaceous prominence can often be mistaken by the patient or others as a sexually transmitted disease. Similar to warts, Fordyce spots appear not only on the genitals of both men and women, but can also present themselves on the borders of the lips and the face of both genders.

Not yet showing itself as a major sebaceous prominence, Fordyce spots start out as small papules and are present even at birth. Papules are simply small rounded bumps rising from the skin. Before puberty, these papules are virtually impossible to see. However, once puberty hits, these papules become more prominent as the sebaceous glands begin to work harder. These glands secrete sebum, an oily, waxy substance that plays a major role in the condition. Estimated to be found in seventy to eighty percent of the population, Fordyce spots are a common condition. However, despite being so widespread, it is a condition that is rarely discussed and still carries with it a sense of embarrassment for the patient.


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