4 Treatments for Fordyce Spots on Lips + What They Are

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on August 28, 2023
fordyce spots on lips
⏱️ 5 min read

We’re sure everyone’s had a makeup look ruined by a zit, rash, or other random skin woe. These are all natural and a regular part of life, but honestly, they’re still among the most annoying things that can happen!

Fordyce spots are no different. They come about seemingly out of nowhere and sometimes just won’t go away for far too long. We get the struggle, so we’re here to talk about what causes this issue and how you can handle it – or at least cover it up.

Let’s get into it!

What Are Fordyce Spots & Are They Dangerous?

Fordyce spots, also called Fordyce granules, are enlarged sebaceous (oil) glands. They usually appear on hairless parts of the body, so the most common areas include on or around the lips, inside the cheeks, and the genital area.

The first thing you should know is that they are not cancerous, although they can look somewhat similar to malignant growths. They’re also not sexually transmitted, or otherwise contagious, so don’t be alarmed if you notice them.

In fact, Fordyce spots aren’t dangerous at all. The only issue with them is that you’ll most likely have them your whole life unless you treat them, meaning that they won’t just go away on their own.

what are fordyce spots on lipsImage source: Instagram @dracamilascremin 

What Causes Fordyce Spots on Lips?

Fordyce spots themselves aren’t a condition – they’re just a part of your anatomy like any other gland. What we’re talking about here are enlarged Fordyce granules. Interestingly, there is no known cause for their swelling.

Some theorize that the condition is brought on by a combination of biological and environmental factors, while others say that they’re always there, but barely noticeable in the majority of the population.

Unfortunately, since we don’t know what causes them, we can’t really tell you how to prevent them either.

However, what we can help with is introducing you to several treatment options.

Can I Get Rid of Fordyce Spots on Lips?

Yes and no.

We already talked about how Fordyce spots will most likely stay on your lips forever. The chances of them appearing also increase as we age, with the first wave of danger coming up during puberty.

Still, there is a very small chance that they’ll pass on their own over time, but that’s a very rare case.

Fordyce Spots Lips Treatment

Like we said, there are certain ways that Fordyce spots can be treated, but none of them are quick and easy. That’s why we advise you to make a decision wisely – Fordyce spots aren’t dangerous and don’t present any discomfort other than being unsightly and the treatments for them are usually expensive.

But, if you’re 100% sure you want to get rid of them once and for all, here’s what you can do:

Topical Treatments

As with any other skin condition, it’s best to consult with your dermatologist. They’ll be able to tell you more about your condition and treatment options and confirm whether what you’re dealing with really are Fordyce spots.

If you do go to see a dermatologist, they’ll most likely recommend topical solutions first. These typically include:

  • Retin-A – Also called topical tretinoin, this cream is used to treat acne. It works as an exfoliator and can reduce or make Fordyce spots disappear.
  • Oral isotretinoin – This is a type of vitamin A, but isn’t too effective when used alone. It’s best to combine it with laser treatment.
  • TCA (Topical trichloroacetic acid) – This is a kind of acid that essentially shrinks the Fordyce spots by burning them. This also works best along with laser treatment.

We advise you not to try and treat your Fordyce spots on lips without talking to a dermatologist.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is the most popular method for getting rid of Fordyce spots. In this case, a specialized laser surgeon will use a CO2 laser to target the spots and remove them that way.

Usually, the laser used will be a pulsed-dye laser that has the least risk of scarring, but that also depends on your specific case, which is why a consultation appointment is necessary before the treatment.

Lasers are a pretty popular and effective method, so rest assured that the procedure isn’t as scary as it sounds.

If you’d like to learn more about laser procedures, click here for a more in-depth guide!

Cryotherapy or Electrohyfrecation

These two treatments are completely different (perhaps even opposites), but we’re lumping them under the same section because they’re equally unlikely to be recommended by your doctor.

Although pretty efficient, they’re more invasive (and costly) than the laser treatment, so you probably won’t end up getting either of these.

Cryotherapy involves freezing the Fordyce spots off of your skin. For this procedure, the doctor will use an extremely cold substance, such as liquid nitrogen or argon gas to freeze the spots and remove them in that condition.

Electrohyfrecation, on the other hand, involves burning the spots. The doctor uses a handheld tool to apply a low-level electrical current to the spot which then cauterizes it.

Alternatively, Try Camouflaging with Lip Blush!

If the treatments we mentioned above don’t sound too enticing, don’t worry – not all hope is lost!

Fordyce spots can be covered up with a lip blush, which is a permanent makeup treatment that inserts the pigment directly into the skin, giving it a fresher wash of color.

It can be made to look natural or like you’re wearing lipstick – it’s all about the choice of pigment!

If you want to learn more about how lip blush is done & what it looks like, click here!

camouflaging fordyce spots with lip blushImage source: Instagram @nude_blush_lips

Can I Do a Fordyce Spots on Lips Treatment at Home?

Yes, but it won’t be as effective as a medical procedure.

There are some natural remedies that might be of help, but they’re not very likely to help you fully get rid of the spots. Still, we suggest trying these methods before investing in an expensive medical treatment.

Here’s what you can use at home:

  • Apple cider vinegar. Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar and apply twice a week.
  • Garlic. Crush garlic cloves and mix them in with water. If the taste is a bit too much for you, add a little bit of lemon juice to the mix.
  • Natural oils. Keeping your skin hydrated with coconut, jojoba, and argan oil can be of help.

So, Let’s Sum Everything Up

Since Fordyce spots on lips aren’t dangerous, there’s no need to obsess over them. However, if you are bothered to a point where you can’t ignore them, there are a couple of ways to get rid of Fordyce spots on lips – laser treatments and lip blushing being the most popular options. 

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