1. Home
  2. |
  3. Blog
  4. |
  5. Fordyce Spots On Lips: How Does It Look? + Causes & Treatments
Listen to this article

Have you recently noticed small white bumps on the edge of your lips? They could be fordyce spots. These tiny pimples usually appear in yellow-white, pale red and light brown color.

But, don’t worry! Fordyce spots are painless and don’t pose any major health risks. In this article, let’s understand the causes, diagnosis, treatments, and prevention of fordyce spots on the lips.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

‘’The most common area where Fordyce spots occur is at the edge of your lips, or near the two corners of your mouth. They could also appear in the interior section of your cheeks, near the tonsils or genital areas.’’

Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Are Fordyce Spots?

Fordyce spots are ectopic or abnormal oil glands that have become enlarged. These white-yellow coloured, raised bumps usually occur on the skin where no hair follicle exists. This could include the exterior part of your lips or on the inside of your cheeks.

Fordyce spots normally appear either as scattered or an isolated cluster of bumps. Sometimes, they can appear in the genital areas of men and women [1] [2].

According to Clinical case reports and reviews in Canada, Fordyce spots are normally prevalent in almost 70-80% of adults across the globe.

Fordyce spots are not an STD (sexually transmitted disease), but a common skin condition that is prevalent in many adult men and women.

What Do Fordyce Spots On Lips Look Like?

fordyce spots on lips

Fordyce spots look like tiny, raised yellowish or white clusters of pimples. You could find them on the inside of the cheeks and the borders of your lips [3].

What Causes Fordyce Spots On Lips?

Fordyce spots are a common characteristic of the human anatomy. These white spots are normally present when you are born, but not detected or noticeable until you reach puberty.

In the teen years, fluctuations in the hormonal levels enlarge the oil glands, making the Fordyce spots prominent and visible.

In a case report on Fordyce spots, researchers claimed that Fordyce granules are the target of androgenic hormones and receptors in dermal sebaceous glands.

Fordyce spots can appear in both men and women. However, these are more prevalent in men than women, and also visible in individuals with an oily complexion.

How Do You Know If You Have Fordyce Spots?

Fordyce Spots

The most common symptoms of Fordyce spots include:

  • Asymptomatic bumps (no pain or irritation) on specific areas of the body. However, they can be slightly itchy in some cases.
  • They form as clusters of spots of 0.2mm -2mm in diameter.
  • Fordyce spots are generally flesh-colored, light yellowish, or white.

How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots On Lips?

If you wish to get rid of Fordyce spots, there are various treatments that you can try, including home remedies, ayurvedic therapies, and medical treatments.

A. Home Remedies For Fordyce Spots On Lips

cosmetic creams and balms with herbal ingredients

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is widely used to treat several hair, skin, and health concerns. It has both astringent and antimicrobial properties, which help to heal and treat various skin ailments [4]. ACV’s astringent property controls and regulates the excess sebum production in your skin.

How To Use:

  • Mix equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and normal water, and apply the diluted solution onto the affected skin.
  • Repeat the steps twice a week for better results.

2. Garlic

Garlic is renowned for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties [5], which help to eliminate and inhibit bacterial presence in the bloodstream. Daily consumption of garlic cloves helps maintain good oral hygiene and inhibits bacterial growth.

How To Use:

  • Take a few garlic cloves and roughly crush them in a mortar and pestle.
  • Blend the crushed garlic cloves with normal water.
  • Add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • Drink the concoction in the morning for better absorption.


3. Coconut Oil

Dehydrated, dry, and broken skin may lead to excessive production of sebum in the skin. Coconut oil acts as an excellent moisturizing agent [6], which effectively treats dry skin condition . It also controls excess oil secretion in the skin

How To Use:

  • Apply warm, pure coconut oil directly onto the affected skin.
  • Alternatively, you may add a few drops of lavender oil into the coconut oil and apply the mix to the affected areas of your skin.

4. Argan & Jojoba Oil

Jojoba and argan oil are rich sources of Vitamin E. Also known as a skin-friendly vitamin, Vitamin E effectively treats and heals a wide range of skin conditions and infections. Also, argan oil is very helpful in improving skin hydration [7].

How To Use:

  • Mix equal amounts of argan and jojoba oils and apply it directly to the affected areas.
  • Repeat the steps thrice a week for better results.

B. Ayurvedic Treatment For Fordyce Spots On Lips

Bloodletting should be done in the first line of ayurvedic treatment for Fordyce spots. This mode of treatment includes the following steps -

  • Vedhanam Siranam - Puncturing of veins for bloodletting.
  • Vamanam - Therapeutic emesis.
  • Virechanam - Therapeutic purgation.
  • Tiktasya Panam - Herbal drinks which are bitter should be consumed.
  • Sheeta Pradheha – Application of cold ointments and lepas.
  • Sheeta Pratischechanam – Mositening or sprinkling soothing medicated solutions on affected lips.

Ayurvedic Remedies

With holistic ayurvedic remedies, you can make your lips spotless, beautiful, and healthy.

1. Turmeric & Milk

  • Make a thin paste of milk and turmeric.
  • Apply this onto your lips and let it dry for 3-5 minutes.
  • Rinse it off with normal water followed by application of an herbal, hydrating balm.
  • Milk and turmeric [8] help in reducing pigmentation and excess sebum production.
  • If you scrub off the lip scrub, it helps in removing the dead skin cells from the epidermal layer.

2. Beetroot Juice

  • Beetroot is an excellent exfoliator that helps to remove accumulated dead skin cells from the skin. Also, it helps in moisturizing and heals your lips.
  • Take a thin slice of beetroot and gently scrub your lips with it.
  • Alternatively, you may add a few drops of honey into beetroot extract and apply it onto your lips.

3. Ghee

  • In the ancient ayurvedic scriptures, application of ghee in the navel is suggested for overall nourishment and good health.
  • This is practiced as the navel is the first part of your body that is formed after conception.
  • You may apply a small amount of pure ghee to your navel before going to bed at night.

4. Milk & Pomegranate Seeds

  • Take a few pomegranate seeds and finely grind them in a mortar and pestle.
  • Make a thin paste by adding some milk.
  • Apply the paste onto your lips.
  • Pomegranate seeds are enriched with punicalagin, a herbal compound that helps in regulating melanin production [9]. Also, it helps in controlling excess sebum production in the skin.

5. Lemon & Mint Leaves

  • Mint leaves help in deeply hydrating your lips as well as retaining the natural colour of your lips.
  • Make a thin paste by grinding mint leaves.
  • Add a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  • You may also add a few drops of pure honey.
  • Apply the thin paste to your lips and wait for 5-10 minutes.
  • Rinse off with normal water.

Vedix Tip: Avoid using any chemical-based lip care and makeup products while treating Fordyce spots on your lips. Switch to mild, herbal, and natural ingredients to improve your lip condition.

Click Here To View More!

C. Medical Treatments For Fordyce Spots On Lips

1. Micro-Punch Surgery

Your dermatologist may suggest this option to effectively and swiftly eradicate multiple white spots from your lips or any other area [10].

  • A localized anesthetic is applied to the affected area before the minor surgery to minimize your pain.
  • Next, a small device resembling a pen is used to extract the unwanted tissue from the affected area.

2. Laser Treatments

Two types of laser treatment are available,to treat Fordyce spots,and each uses a highly-focused beam of ray which is projected at different wavelengths.

In the first kind, a carbon dioxide laser is used to extract and clean Fordyce spots in the affected area.

In a 2003 study, carbondiaoxide super pulsed laser was found to be a safe and effective treatment for Fordyce spots. However, it may cause scarring in the skin in the beginning.

The second type is pulsed dye laser treatment, which is suggested to most people as it does not leave many scars behind. This is, however, an expensive treatment option.

3. Topical Treatments

The topical mode of treatment to remove or reduce Fordyce spots include isotretinoin [11], and dichloroacetic acid [12].

In a few cases, dermatologists may suggest combining topical treatments with laser-based treatment. However, these treatments may cause potential side effects like burning sensation and inflammation.

How Do You Prevent Fordyce Spots On Lips?

homemade natural organic ingredients lip balm

Here are a few preventive measures which you can follow to avoid Fordyce spots on your lips:

  • You should never pick or burst a white spot that is slightly bumpy and raised. This may aggravate and inflame the spot, making it difficult to eradicate.
  • Drinking fresh citrus-based fruit juices such as orange, lemon, and lime helps in minimizing white spots.
  • Stop applying any chemical-laden, commercial lip products such as lip liners, lipsticks, balms, and gloss. This may aggravate your existing lip condition. Use products that suit your prakriti and skin type.
  • Using a sugar-based lip scrub on your lips may help minimize white spots as it removes accumulated dead skin cells.
  • Consume your daily intake of recommended folic acid as it helps in minimizing the occurrence of Fordyce spots on the lips.
  • Include essential Vitamins A, B, D, E, and K in your daily diet as it helps in reducing white spots. Lentils, nuts, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of these essential vitamins.
  • Stop licking your lips frequently as it tends to make your lips dehydrated. Also, the microbes in your mouth and tongue may aggravate your skin concern. Instead, opt for a mild herbal lip balm to keep your lips hydrated.
  • It is important to maintain good oral hygiene at all times to prevent the aggravation of Fordyce spots in and around your lips.
  • Triphala can help clear excess Kapha in the body and can help heal fordyce spots.

Important Note:

While applying a lip scrub, it is important to be gentle and careful. The lip epidermis is highly sensitive and fragile when compared to other areas of your body.

Risk Factors Of Fordyce Spots On Lips

While the exact causes of Fordyce spots are still not known, they are often associated with various skin concerns and skin types.

Fordyce spots are prevalent in men compared to women and affect individuals with an oily complexion.

The white spots near and around the mouth are also associated with hyperlipidemia [13]. Studies have established associations between Fordyce spots and the risk of heart disease.

How Are Fordyce Spots Diagnosed?

Dermatologists may diagnose the Fordyce spots by their physical appearance. In a few cases, they may even suggest a biopsy for confirmation. In a biopsy, a small tissue sample is removed from the affected region for further examination.

When To Seek Medical Care For Fordyce Spots?

Fordyce spots are harmless and do not pose any significant health risks. Also, they don’t occur due to any disease or condition. They are also not prominent in many individuals.

However, Fordyce spots may become unsightly in a few cases. You can then visit a doctor to get them treated.

There are chances that you may confuse Fordyce spots with another skin condition. You can consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

If the Fordyce spots on your lips are affecting your morale and overall appearance, then you may seek the advice and help of a knowledgeable dermatologist or ayurvedic doctor. They may guide you with the right treatment option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Fordyce Spots

1. Can Fordyce Spots Spread?

Fordyce spots or granules don’t appear due to infectious microorganisms like viruses or bacteria. Hence, they are not contagious and don’t spread to other areas of the body. These spots naturally appear in the genitals, mouth, or lips of an individual.

2. How Long Do Fordyce Spots Last On Lips?

In a few cases, Fordyce spots disappear and fade away on their own with advancing age. However, the spots can become worse in some elderly individuals.

3. What Does It Mean If Fordyce Spots On The Upper Lip Start Itching?

Fordyce spots are normally asymptomatic and don’t cause pain or itching in the affected area. However, if it results in itchy and inflamed skin, then it may indicate another underlying skin condition that requires immediate medical attention.

4. Who's At Risk With Fordyce Spots?

Fordyce spots may appear at any stage of your life. However, the risk increases with advancing age as Fordyce spots are highly prevalent in elderly people.

The Last Word

  • Fordyce spots usually fade away on their own without any treatment.
  • The most important point to acknowledge is that they’re normal and don’t cause any harm.
  • Fordyce spots are not a disorder or disease. Many people have these spots at least once in their lifetime.
  • If the Fordyce spots on your lips are making you conscious, then you may follow home remedies, ayurvedic remedies, or medical treatments to make them less prominent and visible.
Know Your Dosha Now

Recommended Products

  • vx_combo_skin

    Vedix Customised Ayurvedic Skin Care Regimen

    Buy Now
  • vx_skin_cleanser

    Vedix Ayurvedic Face Cleanser

    Buy Now
  • vx_skin_mois

    Vedix Ayurvedic Face Moisturizer

    Buy Now
  • vx_skin_serum

    Vedix Ayurvedic Face Serum

    Buy Now
  • faceserum

    Aloka VC Brightening Face Serum

    Buy Now
  • rescue_faceserum

    Prakhya Acne Rescue Face Serum

    Buy Now
  • Niraj HydroMatte Oil Free Face Gel For Women

    Niraj HydroMatte Oil Free Face Gel For Women

    Buy Now
  • Anudha Glow Restore Moisturizing Face Lotion For Women

    Anudha Glow Restore Moisturizing Face Lotion For Women

    Buy Now