Lips are a very crucial part of your face and your body. A great smile would not be so great if the lips were not spotless. In the everyday routine, your lips play a very important role while eating, smiling, speaking, kissing, etc. Lips make a difference in the conversation too, as their movement can change your impact in the conversation. You need good lips for a good lifestyle, and if anything happens to them, like chapping or fordyce spots, life gets really difficult and meeting with people gets really embarrassing. Anything other than the usual on your lips can be a big deal breaker and might even hinder your confidence in important conversations. Before we tell you ways to get rid of fordyce spots, let’s understand a bit about them.
Fordyce spots may put you in a position of panic because anything that can compromise your aesthetics tends to do that. It may even make you over-think unnecessarily because these small spots may look like they have happened because of an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease.) While the appearance might fool you, in reality, it is just a small dermatological condition, which can easily be taken care of at home. These spots are totally harmless, and they don’t even cause any pain. The chances of you transmitting it to someone else are zero percent, so relax and read below to know more about this skin condition and how to get rid of fordyce spots on lips (1).
What Are Fordyce Spots?
The fordyce spots can appear on one of your lips or both. Apart from the lips, they can even appear on genitals. The occurrence in men is slightly higher than women. They start developing from the sides of the lips towards the middle. The look like small bumps in a pack of 20-30 in the start to almost a bunch of 100 small bumps, and their color can be anywhere from pure white to light yellow. These spots are the sebaceous glands, which have the job of lubricating the skin and hair follicles, but they appear as fordyce spots when there is no hair follicle present for them. Although fordyce spots are present in children since birth, but they become more and more prominent as they grow up and might appear as little bumps in many teenagers who have achieved puberty, because of hormonal changes (2, 3).
You may hear different names of fordyce spots from different people; the common names are Fordyce lesion, Fordyce granules, Fox Fordyce disease, and Fordyce’s disease. The word Fordyce is the last name of John Addison Fordyce, who is the dermatologist who discovered this disease. There are very few dangers associated with this condition, but a new study has found out the relation between fordyce granules and cardiovascular diseases. It doesn’t have much proof of a direct correlation between the two factors, but it also said that the possibility of a relation ‘should not be neglected’ (4).
What Causes Fordyce Spots?
The occurrence of the fordyce spots is very common, and it hits about 70-80% population at any given point of time. As we have discussed, this disease is not dangerous or transmittable, it happens because of a minor imbalance in hormones. The oil by which sebaceous glands lubricate hair follicles and skin is known as sebum, and its abnormal secretion can cause fordyce spots. If more of this oil is secreted by sebaceous glands, it gets accumulated under the skin causing fordyce spots. The collection of sebum can also attract bacteria and help their breeding process, which might result in infections and inflammation in the tissues around the area (5).
While this is not a dangerous disease, you must consult a dermatologist before even thinking of treating it at home. You have to do this to make sure that you have fordyce lesion and not any other condition that can be more serious than this. Once your doctor has shown you a green flag and cleared all your doubts about it being a more serious condition, you can move ahead and try the home remedies mentioned in this article.
How To Get Rid Of Fordyce Spots?
These spots will go away with time even if you do not do anything to treat them. The same is suggested by the doctors also, but in some cases doctors may recommend laser surgery if they are ruining your appearance. If you can bear with them for some time, and want them to go away naturally, below are some of the tried and tested fordyce spots treatments, which will help you regain your confidence and relieve you of the embarrassment.
1) Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a boon to the skin as it can treat numerous diseases related to the skin, or at least provide relief from the pain and inflammation. This disease neither has pain, nor does it have any inflammation, so how will coconut help in fordyce spots removal? Coconut oil has anti-microbial properties. This makes it one of the best treatments for any condition with microbes such as bacteria. And as we have already discussed, fordyce spots have an accumulation of sebum, which can promote bacteria growth. Application of coconut oil will make sure nothing of that sort happens, and the condition is healed as quickly as possible. If any bacterial infection happens, this disease becomes more difficult to treat and may require medical intervention (6).
Just rub a few drops of coconut oil on the affected area twice a day and see the results.
You can also enhance the results by using extra virgin coconut oil and/or adding lavender essential oil to it.
Lavender has anti-bacterial function and has been used in traditional medicine for treating various such conditions (7).
2) Jojoba Oil
Jojoba oil is one of the few facial oils, which is used to keep the skin healthy and glowing. It also slows down the process of skin aging. The extra production of sebum, which results in the formation of fordyce spots, can be reduced by jojoba oil because it is one of the oils which has a composition very similar to sebum. When you apply it to your skin, it makes the skin think that sebum is being released, which stops the sebaceous glands from producing more sebum, hence, solving the issue. Other moisturizers might block the pores or may even evaporate, but this is not the case with jojoba oil. This also prevents the occurrence of blackheads (8).
You can use jojoba oil on your skin regardless of the skin condition because it is a natural moisturizer and has an edge over other commercial products.
Very little quantity of it covers a large area, and it is very well absorbed by the skin, which is the reason it is used in a lot of commercial products. Besides it has a long shelf life, so there is no chance it will become rancid.
The anti-oxidants present in jojoba oil safeguard the skin against the free radical molecules, which are one among the reasons for premature skin aging (9).
Just apply some drops of jojoba oil on the lips and rub for a minute.
Leave it overnight. Do this for a whole week to experience the results.
3) Keep It Clean
When you are dealing with fordyce spots or any other skin-related condition, doctors will always advise you to keep the area clean and cosmetic free. It is because cosmetic products have shown to disturb the pores and irritate skin in any skin infection case. Avoid using any such irritants on the affected area when it is healing, like cosmetics (lip colors, gloss, etc.,) sunscreens, concealers, etc. Even then, if it is absolutely necessary, only use the products that are marked as noncomedogenic. This means that the products will not irritate the skin and will be gentle on it (10).
Another step you can take to keep the area clean is by washing the area with a mild soap at least 2-3 times a day.
This is done to prevent any bacterial infections on the lips because of fordyce spots.
Washing will prevent any bacteria that is forming on the skin and will restrict its growth, and it is necessary that you do this multiple times a day, especially after meals (11).
4) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has various benefits including its effect on hair, digestion, skin, etc. It is used as a toner, and it has been proven that it helps tighten the pores of the skin, hence, releasing the extra sebum from it. Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural fordyce spots cure, and it will reduce those spots very quickly. Today, natural treatments have become more and more famous because people don’t want to apply chemicals from the western medicine on their skin, especially their face. People look for natural ways to treat small diseases on the skin, and apple cider vinegar is the way (12).
Just mix equal quantities of water and apple cider vinegar, and keep the cotton swabs ready.
After thoroughly mixing the liquids, absorb it in cotton swabs and apply it on the spots.
Do not rub, just gently touch the swab on the lips where spots have appeared.
In the starting, it will smell like apple cider vinegar, but soon the smell will fade away as it dries.
Leave the ACV solution on the affected area for a while and then wash it off with lukewarm water and a very mild soap.
Make sure it is the mildest soap available in the market because the skin of the face is very sensitive.
5) Argan Oil
Argan is a tree native to Morocco, and argan oil is the oil that is produced from the kernels of this tree. It is also known as Argania spinosa, and it is used in culinary arts as a bread dip or as a topping on couscous and pasta. Apart from its use in the food industry, it is also used as a moisturizer for the skin because it is absorbed into the skin quickly and does not leave the skin oily after its application. Argan oil helps in reducing the fordyce spots because of its cleansing properties and its high linoleic acid content. This will drive the extra sebum right out of the blocked pores, which will help you regain the smooth skin on your lips. You can also use it on oily skin as it is a good remedy to treat acne and blemishes because of the same reason. Apart from this, argan oil is also an excellent skin toner, which helps you to clean the skin off any makeup residue or any moisturizer residue. This will make sure no foreign components can do any harm to your skin (13).
Availability of argan oil should not be an issue as it is a very common name in the kitchen industry, and now even in cosmetic industry.
You can buy it from a nearby store or even online.
Just rub 2 drops of this oil on your fingers till it becomes a little warm. and then apply it to the lips where fordyce spots are visible.
Do this for a week, and you will start noticing the difference.
If not, it is advised that you see a dermatologist for a consultation.
6) Copaiba Balsam And Tea Tree Essential Oils
A fluid known as balsam, obtained from the trunk of a variety of pinnate-leaved leguminous trees from South America, is thick, transparent, and can be golden to dark brown in color. This fluid contains both, essential oil and resin from the tree; the more the resin, the darker the color. Varnish for furniture is made from this fluid.
The essential oil from this balsam is extracted by distilling it, and the final oil is light yellow in color, which is called copaiba balsam essential oil. The main component of this oil is sesquiterpene hydrocarbon with caryophyllene. These components make copaiba oil woody and rustic in nature. This oil is used to nourish the skin by cleansing it and removing any foreign particles from it (14).
On the other hand, tea tree oil is a natural essential oil extracted from the leaves of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia.) This oil has various benefits including its anti-microbial properties, which make it perfect in combination with copaiba as a treatment for fordyce spots. Both these oils together can help you kill any bacteria in the blocked pores, which appear as fordyce spots, and cleanse and nourish the skin of the lips to prevent dryness and damage (15).
Mix about 2-3 drops of both these oils with a tablespoon of olive oil in a small bottle and apply a little on your skin to check for any allergies.
If you don’t notice any allergic reaction, it is safe to apply the mixture to your lips on the fordyce spots.
Leave the oil mixture on your lips overnight and wash away with lukewarm water in the morning.
Continue this for at least a week to see the spots reducing.
7) Garlic And Lemon
Scientists know garlic as Allium sativum. It is a very common ingredient in the kitchen, which is loved by Italians and Indians in their food. Garlic has a lot of benefits including its anti-fungal properties. The component in garlic that exhibits these properties is ajoene, which is also extracted and used in different skin creams and lotions. This will help prevent any fungal infection, which can happen because of the accumulated sebum in the pores. Consumption of garlic or any food item containing ajoene should be avoided in pregnant and breastfeeding women (16).
However, lemon contains citric acid, which is a great exfoliator for the skin. Not just citric acid, other fruit acids such as gluconic, gluconolactone, glycolic, malic, and tartaric acids are excellent exfoliating agents. Some of these are as effective as benzoyl peroxide, which is a chemical used in medicines for acne vulgaris. The only downfall is that these acids might cause irritation on the skin and the higher the acid concentration, the more irritation will be experienced (17).
For this remedy, you will need 2 cloves of garlic and 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a mixer, add the garlic cloves and lemon juice.
Process it till the garlic is completely broken down.
Add 200 ml of water and blend once more.
Strain this liquid through a strainer and store it in a small bottle.
Apply this liquid on the fordyce spots on the skin with a cotton swab and let it dry.
Leave the liquid overnight and wash it away with lukewarm water in the morning.
Do this for 1-2 weeks and say bye bye to the ugly spots.
Ginger, as we all know, is a very widely-used ingredient in the food industry. It has a very strong taste and is used in small quantities because of that. You may know that it imparts a great flavor and taste in the food preparations, but you may not be aware of its antihistamine properties (18). Ginger is a great home remedy when it comes to reducing the production of extra sebum, which accumulates in the pores and causes fordyce spots. Antihistamines are also used for several other skin conditions like acne vulgaris (common acne,) psoriasis, etc.
Doctors prescribe antihistamines to their patients because of their minimal side effects and safe nature, which means very few people seem to be allergic to them (19). Ginger, being an antihistamine, reduces the chances of allergies more because it is natural. Using ginger will also be very cheap in the treatment of skin diseases, which can be treated with antihistamines.
Ginger oil is the best when it comes to the topical application of ginger, but if you can not find it in the market or online, you can prepare your own extract of ginger to get its benefits in the treatment of fordyce spots on lips.
In a small mixer, put a handful of ginger with 3-4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Process till ginger is broken down completely and then add about 200 ml of water in it.
Put this mixture in a clear mason jar, cover with an airtight lid and leave it outside in the sun for a week.
Remove the lid and strain this liquid into another container. Use cotton swabs to apply it on the spots or 2 drops of ginger oil (in case you are using ginger oil.)
Let it dry and leave it overnight. In the morning, wash your lips with water and a very mild soap to remove any residue.
Do this for a week to alleviate the spots on your lips.
9) Stinging Nettle
Also known as common nettle, nettle leaf, and urtica dioica, stinging nettle is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant from the family Urticaceae. This plant is native to Europe, Asia, North America, And North Africa but it can be grown anywhere with similar climatic conditions. Most of the plants of this species have hollow stinging hairs on the leaf stems known as trichomes. These hairs are pointed, and when your skin comes in contact with them, they inject chemicals, which feels like a sting. It has been traditionally used as a medicine and food source.
The extract of this plant’s leaves acts as a natural antihistamine and controls sebum production. Sebum is the natural moisturizer of skin, but when it is produced in abundance, it can get trapped in the pores causing fordyce spots. When its production is reduced, the accumulation does not happen in the pores of the skin, making this herb a perfect fordyce spots cure (20, 21).
Now that the production of sebum is controlled, the only problem remaining is blocked pores. Gentle exfoliation with natural ingredients like oatmeal, honey, milk, etc. can be of a lot of help to unblock them so that nothing can accumulate in them. Blocked pores are the reason for fordyce spots and other skin conditions like acne vulgaris, blackheads, whiteheads, etc., so if you take care of your skin, you can control these skin problems (22).
Dried nettle can be used for topical application as it packs all the advantageous components of the plant and has a long shelf life.
You can buy dried leaves of nettle online of in a store near your house.
Just crush these leaves and make a fine powder out of them.
Add some water in this powder until a smooth, thick paste forms.
Apply this paste on the affected area on the lips and let it dry.
After an hour or so, wash it off with lukewarm water and a very mild soap.
Do this for 3 days and continue if you see any positive effects.
Do’s And Don’ts (23)
- Do not touch your face with your hands all the time because your hands gather germs all day, and these germs might transfer to your face’s skin when you touch it.
- Stay away from the oily cosmetic products and creams/lotions because they may help your fordyce spots to increase by accumulating in the pores.
- During the night, remove your makeup before you sleep by using a cleanser. This is important because makeup has never done any good to anyone’s skin.
- Avoid going out in the sun and when you cannot ignore going, use a strong sunscreen that doesn’t have an oily base because the more oil is available to your skin, the more chances are there for it accumulating.
- Your hair plays a large role in your face’s skin issues, as scalp can get oily really fast and this oil can travel to your face very easily, especially if you have long hair, and cause fordyce spots on your skin.
- Pillowcases on your bed can also accumulate sebum from your hair and may transfer it to your face, so it is a good idea to replace pillowcases regularly with clean and dry ones.
- Your diet is very crucial in all the aspects of your skin and your whole body, so it is recommended that you always follow a healthy and balanced diet in order to keep your skin and your body healthy and clean.
- Wash your face every once in a while with a very mild soap because oil development on the skin happens continuously throughout the day, and you need to cut it out by washing more and more of it off your skin. Make sure you are not using a strong soap or washing your face too frequently; 2-3 times in a day is enough and 4-5 times if you stay out in the open for a long time of your day.
- It is natural for fordyce to stay for a while on your lips or any other part of your skin because no remedy or even medicine will start working right away; it takes time for good things to happen so be patient.
- If you can see no improvement in the condition of your lips and its skin related to fordyce spots, there is a chance that they are happening because of any other skin condition and you should go and immediately consult a dermatologist.
- It is very important to know what things you are allergic to because these home remedies consist of essential oil and herbs, which may cause allergic reactions on your skin.
Do not be an internet idiot and follow anything mentioned on the internet without a valid source because the internet is a wild and uncontrollable force where anyone can post anything and can make it available to millions of people with a single click. You will see a lot of face mask and face wash recipes that can be prepared at home, but most of them will be without any valid information source. Do not fall for these as they can make your skin’s condition even worse. It is you who needs to take care of your skin, and you have to be smart enough to rely on the information that is tested and tried. All the items present in this article have been tried and tested for fordyce spots and extra oil on the skin. All you need to do is buy the items mentioned (you may have most of them in your kitchen already) above, whip them up according to the instructions, and apply them as directed to see the results. The most important thing is to either know what you are allergic to or apply a little of the final home remedy on your skin (preferably not face) and check for any reactions. Wait for at least a week to see the magic happening.