Fordyce stains, what are they?

The Fordyce spots are small grains of 1 to 3 mm in diameter. They are usually white, yellow or flesh colored. They appear on the buccal mucosa, on the lips, on the penis or scrotum and on the vulva. They are very common, both in women and men of any age.

Its name comes from the fact that dermatologist John Addison Fordyce was the first person to investigate them. The stains of Fordyce they are, in fact, ectopic sebaceous glands. They are responsible for synthesizing the sebum that lubricates and protects the skin. They are usually located in the dermis and, therefore, are not visible. However, in this case, they are found in the epidermis.

In this article we tell you everything you need to know about Fordyce stains.

What are the Fordyce spots?

As we have already mentioned, Fordyce spots are ectopic sebaceous glands. This means that they are glands that are found in the epidermis when their normal position is the dermis. Therefore, as the epidermis is the most superficial layer of the skin, they are visible.

They are lesions that are not malignant or infectious. The person who suffers tend to think that they are a sexually transmitted infection. However, these spots have no relation to sex. Therefore, its only repercussion is aesthetic. They do not pose a health problem nor are they transmissible.

Usually, they appear during puberty and are maintained throughout life. The truth is that they are present from birth, but they become more visible over the years. Therefore, about 90% are observed in adults. However, they tend to decrease, in part, with age.

What symptoms produce the Fordyce spots?

Fordyce spots do not produce serious symptoms. They can cause itching and irritation in the areas where they appear. They are the buccal mucosa, the lips, the penis or the scrotum and the vulva. However, the biggest symptom they produce is stress or low self-esteem.

This is because these spots often confused with sexually transmitted diseases. Therefore, it is important to know that they are not and to avoid this concern that can embarrass the person and influence their sex life. Fordyce spots may bleed slightly during sex.

This type of injuries can lead to an anxiety or mood disorder. Especially in people who are already insecure and with low self-esteem. Therefore, it is important to see a doctor if there is any doubt. He will alleviate the worries about these spots and, in addition, will help you to understand that it is a merely aesthetic problem.

What are your causes?

The sebaceous glands are found within the hair follicles, which are in the dermis. They produce sebum, which is the fat that helps keep the skin lubricated and protected. This production is done on a regular basis. But nevertheless, in the case of Fordyce spots, the glands are found in the epidermis.

By not being in the hair follicle, Sebum clogs and ends up forming small bumps or spots. They are visible because they are in the epidermis, which is the most superficial layer of the skin. In fact, the explanation that they are more visible with age is that the epidermis, over the years, is stretching and becoming more transparent.

On the other hand, sebum is related to blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Therefore, Fordyce spots are associated with people who have raised these levels.

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Fordyce stain treatment

As we already know, the Fordyce stains They are no threat to health and do not need treatment. However, due to its aesthetic repercussion, there are some treatments that allow to eliminate them. Some of them are:

Maybe you are interested: Remedies for natural seborrheic dermatitis

In conclusion

If you think you have Fordyce spots, Ideally, consult a dermatologist. He will perform the relevant tests to rule out that it is any other pathology. In addition, you can suggest the most appropriate treatment if they negatively affect your self-esteem or your well-being.