Are Fordyce Spots Bad? Understanding These Common Bumps

In this article, we will discuss the topic of Fordyce spots in-depth. Whether you have them or not, it is essential to understand these common bumps to determine if they are harmful or not.

What are Fordyce spots?

Fordyce spots, also known as sebaceous glands, are small oil glands that are located on the skin’s surface. They are typically found on the lips, penis shaft, scrotum, and vulva. These glands are visible and appear as small bumps on the skin.

Experts believe that Fordyce spots are present at birth and develop during the fetal stage. Although they are benign and do not pose any health risk, these bumps can be noticeable and may cause concern for some people.

What do Fordyce Spots look like?

As mentioned, Fordyce spots appear as small bumps or papules on the surface of the skin. They are most commonly found on the lips, inside the mouth or genital areas. These bumps are usually skin-colored, yellowish or white, and about 1-3 mm in size. They can occur in clusters or individually.

Causes of Fordyce Spots:

The precise cause of Fordyce spots is not known. However, experts believe that they result from the sebaceous glands’ overactivity or blockage, leading to the buildup of sebum, a natural oily substance produced by the body.

Fordyce spots may also develop due to hormonal changes in the body, such as during puberty or pregnancy. People with certain medical conditions, such as Fordyce disease, may be more prone to these bumps.

Fordyce spots vs. Genital Warts:

One common question people ask is whether Fordyce spots are contagious or a sign of an STD. Unlike genital warts, Fordyce spots are not caused by a virus and are not contagious. They are a normal condition that occurs on the skin’s surface and are not harmful to your health.

Genital warts, unlike Fordyce spots, are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are highly contagious. They are characterized by rough, raised bumps on the genital area and are a significant health concern. If you suspect that you have genital warts or other unusual bumps, it is essential to see a doctor immediately.

Are Fordyce Spots bad?

So now you might be wondering, are Fordyce spots bad? The good news is that these bumps are not harmful and do not pose any health risks. They are a normal skin condition that affects many people.

However, if you find them unsightly or uncomfortable, you can opt for medical treatments, such as topical creams or laser treatments. It is essential to consult with a dermatologist to determine the best treatment plan for you.

Preventing Fordyce Spots:

Since Fordyce spots are a natural occurrence, it is not possible to prevent them from occurring. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of developing these bumps, such as:

  • Practicing good hygiene
  • Avoiding aggressive scrubbing or exfoliation
  • Wearing comfortable underwear that allows for proper airflow
  • Avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption


Fordyce spots are a common condition that affects many people. While they may appear unsightly or uncomfortable, they are not harmful and do not pose any health risks. If you notice any unusual or concerning bumps, it is essential to see a doctor immediately.


1. Can Fordyce spots appear on other parts of the body?

While Fordyce spots frequently occur on the lips, inside the mouth or genital areas, they can also appear on other parts of the body.

2. Are Fordyce spots cancerous?

No, Fordyce spots are not cancerous and do not pose any health risks.

3. Are Fordyce spots contagious?

No, they are not contagious and are not related to an STD or virus.

4. Why do some people have more Fordyce spots than others?

The number of Fordyce spots can vary from person to person and may increase with age. Certain medical conditions or lifestyle factors, such as smoking, may also increase the likelihood of these bumps.


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