Do you have tiny, pale red, yellow-white or skin-colored bumps or spots on the shaft of the penis? Well, these can be Fordyce spots. They can also occur on the foreskin, scrotum, and vulva or vagina lips in women. Learn more about what they are, their causes, symptoms, ways to get rid of them on your penile shaft.
According to fordycespots.com, “Fordyce spots are small raised yellowish or skin-colored pimples usually found in clusters on the shaft of the penis, vulva, testicles, and lips.” This condition is common in both men and women of all ages but men are highly vulnerable.
The condition was named after an eminent American dermatologist known as John Addison Fordyce. Other names are Fordyce’s condition, sebaceous prominence, Fordyce granules and Angiokeratoma of the scrotum.
Usually, they are painless and harmless but remember this, they can be annoying and embarrassing. Actually, you must be sure it is just a Fordyce granule and not an infection or sexually transmitted disease that may be very revolting. After being sure that the spots are just Fordyce spots, there may be no specific treatment for it but there are some methods you can give a trial. These can include medical treatments or homemade remedies as well as a natural treatment. But all these will also depend on the underlying causes. Let us now explore the possible causes and triggers.
Causes of Fordyce spots on the shaft of a penis
What causes them? Well, there are numerous causes. “Fordyce spots basically appear when natural oil of the skin also known as sebum is trapped and is not let out of the sebaceous glands as required by the body,” says healthmds.org. Let us now explore the causes below.
1. Clogging of the sebaceous glands
Sebaceous glands are glands responsible for secreting oil known as sebum required for the smooth functioning of the body skin. In the case of Fordyce granules, sebum gets trapped in a sebaceous gland that does not have hair. Usually, sebaceous glands open to hair follicles and the oil is discharged up to the hair shaft but for our case things are different, “in the case of Fordyce spots, no hair means there is no way to discharge the natural body oil secretions. Therefore, the cause of the bumps.” Unlike in most cases, Fordyce spot which is neither painful nor pus-filled will form. This absolutely not a skin infection.
2. Hormonal fluctuation
Another cause that can be blamed for their formation is hormonal changes. During growth, people undergo various stages with puberty inclusive. During puberty, the sebaceous glands tend to produce more oil than usual. This may result in blockages in the pathways of hence resulting in swelling that yields up Fordyce spots. Pregnancy can also affect hormone production levels hence they may occur.
3. Lack of essential vitamins
Vitamins are a group of substances that are essential for normal cell function, maintenance, growth, and development. When certain vitamins responsible for skin nourishment lack or become insufficient, then malfunctioning may occur leading to inflammation in the affected areas hence Fordyce granules.
4. Stress and anxiety
Stress is a known trigger for many conditions that can affect the health of a person. When you have stress, the body tends to be in great tension which is similar to when anxiety overwhelms you. Thus, oil production levels may be at higher rates than usual but then the process of releasing the oil to the skin may be slow and thus much oil is left to accumulate in the gland causing them.
5. Weak immunity
Immunity is the ability of the body to fight against diseases and invasion of any microbial organisms that may cause infections. When your immunity is comprised, health is deterred too. Bacteria, therefore, get the opportunity to enter the body with ease causing infections on the inflamed red bumps on the shaft and thus may trigger severe Fordyce spots occur.
There are many other causes or triggers. Hereditary predisposition can also be one of these causes though not common. Note that, these spots are not associated with any disease or sexually transmitted diseases. They may be mistaken for genital pearly papules or STDs therefore if you are not sure of the condition, seek doctor`s assistance for proper diagnosis and treatment.
This is a disorder that appears natural and they are not contagious. Like any other disorder, they have symptoms that may range from mild to severe. Normally they are usually confused with penile papules and STDs. Below are some of these symptoms Fordyce spots on the shaft:
- Skin-colored or yellow bumps about 0.2mm to 3mm
- Easily visible spots especially on a stretched skin
- Inflamed pimples
- Pus-filled swellings
- Clear fluid-filled granules
- Painless growths
- Occur in clusters but at times they may be single
- Often occur on the genitals and lips
- White bumps on the shaft
Remember that, Fordyce spots may be confused with another sexually transmitted disease that has similar symptoms. Ensure that you visit a doctor for examination and treatment. This should be done before the pimples burst and leave behind open lesions that may expose you to risks of contracting infections.
How to get rid of them?
Fordyce spots may sometimes be embarrassing especially in the presence of your partner. In order to get rid of them from your penile shaft, treatment may involve OTC or prescribed medical treatments as well as home remedies may be applied but this depends on the severity of the resulting symptoms. Here are some treatment options.
The major component present in this kind of therapy is nitrogen. It works by freezing the tissue cells of the affected area. This destroys their habitats hence getting rid of them. This therapy may have adverse side effects, therefore, you are required to ensure that you seek attention from a qualified medical expert to treat the Fordyce granules.
Cauterization involves burning off the lumps causing inflammation using hyfrecator. First, the affected area is made numb then the spots are exposed to vaporization using heat conduction which is done electrically. The best thing about this surgery is that it is very effective and at an affordable fee for many people
3. Laser Treatment for Fordyce Spots (Pulsed Dye Laser)
Pulsed dye laser regimen is a therapy that involves the high concentration of light beams to the blood vessels responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients to the sebaceous glands. This thus deprives the glands enough oxygen and nutrients hence they become disseminated. The initially red spots are thereby discolored progressively.
4. Micro-Punch Technique
Micro-Punch Excision is an activity dermatologist can carry out to treat Fordyce granules. It is done by manually removing them from the skin. Though there may be left some scars on the shaft, chances of this disorder occurring again are minimal.
Misconceptions about Fordyce granule treatment may be misleading ditching you into much tension than you ever thought it could be before. Other treatments like creams for Fordyce spots and gels can be applied used for treatment. Examination, diagnosis, and treatment via a dermatologist can be the best choice you can make before any surgeries or application of the above treatments.
Natural remedies are treatments made from natural products that we have at our homes can also be very effective especially for mild cases of Fordyce spots. Below are home products you can use to treat them.
A) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider is a known remedy for treating many skin conditions including this one. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties that fight against the causative agents of the Fordyce granules that is, the bacteria resulting in infections. It doesn’t have side effects and performs its functions perfectly.
- To a glass of cold water, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Mix the contents using a spoon
- Then apply the mixture on the affected the area
- This should be repeated two to three times a day for excellent results
B) Coconut Oil
Another remedy for Fordyce spots is the use of coconut oil. Coconut oil functions by renewing the cells and recovering the damaged skin. It conditions the area alongside the ridding of bacterial infections. It also fastens the healing of the skin.
- Pour 200ml of coconut oil into a cooking pan
- Add 5 garlic cloves into the coconut oil and heat at low flame
- After two to three hours, remove the pan from the stove and separate ether garlic cloves from the coconut oil
- Cool the oil in a fridge
- Apply the oil directly to the affected area
- Wash the area with the tap running water and repeat this once a day
C) Garlic Juice
Garlic is characterized by antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It functions by eliminating redness of the inflamed spots and rids of the bacteria that are harmful to
the skin. It also reduces swelling and relieves itching in the affected area.
- Crush garlic pieces using a weight and transfer them to a bowl
- Add 200ml of water to the bowl and dilute the extract until they blend so well
- Transfer the mixture into a container and drink it without other additives
- This should be repeated thrice per day, that is, before or after meals
D) Turmeric Milk
Turmeric is another useful product that deals with a variety of skin conditions with inclusive of Fordyce granules on shafts. It is antifungal and therefore clears spots and eliminates fungal infections. Milk works by rejuvenating and moisturizing the skin tissues.
- Add 50grams of turmeric powder into a half cup of warm milk
- Mix them using a spoon
- Ingest the mixture as it is on the spots
- This should be done once per day
E) Vitamin Mix
The vitamin responsible for this is vitamin C which contains chemicals that aid in self-healing of the Fordyce spots on the shaft. The presence of water ensures the area is kept moisturized so that the pores are clearly opened for penetration of vitamins to heal them.
- Add 50 ml of lemon juice to 10 ml of water and blend them properly
- Add orange juice the mixture and spin them well
- Add more water until it is well diluted
- Leave the mixture for a while
- Using cotton wool, dab into the mixture and apply it on the affected area
- Do this thrice a day
F) Asparagus Paste
If you are troubled with those embarrassing condition of Fordyce spots, then give a try to asparagus paste and get yourself out of that menace. Asparagus is a natural product that works by removing scars on the affected area and triggers regeneration of new cells hence ridding of the once damaged skin. It can be used together with lemon juice and tea tree oil for splendid results.
- Crush asparagus and add it to a bowl of water
- Add 10 ml of lemon syrup and 10 ml of tea tree extract
- Mix them thoroughly until an equally thick paste is formed
- Leave the mixture to sit for a while and apply directly to the affected area
- Wash it off with the tap running water and repeat this twice a day for awesome results
G) Olive Oil
Olive oil is another effective remedy for Fordyce granules. It functions by moisturizing the skin besides removing spots. This ensures that the skins heal faster than it could if it were left to recover by itself. Give it a try and see the amazing results olive oil will give you. It can also be used for other skin disorders.
- Wash the affected area using an antibacterial soap
- Using your hands, apply olive oil to the affected area
- After about an hour or so, wash it off
- Repeat this twice or thrice a day
H) Other home remedies
Apart from the above home treatments for Fordyce spots, there are more remedies that can also provide good relief for Fordyce spots. They include:
- Tea Tree Oil
- Witch Hazel
- Hydrogen Peroxide
- Avocado Paste
- Argan oil
- Spinach soup
- Fresh fruit juices among others.
Remember to apply each home remedy at a time. Seek medical attention when you develop severe Fordyce spots or if the condition persists despite applying the home remedies.
Causes of this problem are not related to any disease, virus or STIs. They may be occurring due to poor hygiene or natural phenomena or hereditary issues. The disorder cannot be contracted by another person through any forms of contact, rather it is not contagious. If you are not sure of how to deal with this disorder, consult your doctor for examination and prior treatment.