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Fordyce's Spots on Labia

Updated April 17, 2017

Fordyce's spots are small (1-5 mm), raised bumps, often white or yellowish in colour, that may appear on a woman's labia. They are harmless, not transmissible, and not part of any disease or condition.

Cause

Fordyce's spots are caused by an ectopic (overgrown) sebaceous gland. These small glands are responsible for producing an oily material that lubricates your skin.

Diagnosis

A doctor can identify Fordyce's spots by visual inspection. If they are unusually large, your doctor may recommend a test to make sure that they are not a more serious condition.

Prevalence

Fordyce's spots are very common in both sexes (up to 90 per cent of men develop them as they age), usually appearing when one reaches puberty. As well as the labia, they can also appear on the lips, chest, and on the male penis and scrotum.

No Risks

Fordyce's spots are painless and not connected with any harmful conditions. They are not caused by a virus and cannot be transmitted to someone else.

Treatment

While treatment is not necessary, treatment options are available. Rubbing the spots daily with Tretinoin gel or cream can reverse the condition. Fordyce's spots can also be removed with lasers or frozen off with liquid nitrogen.

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About the Author

Abe Robinson has been a freelance writer since he graduated from college in spring 2009. He has written for a variety of websites and has provided content for the University of Chicago's "Ceremonial Words – Ritual Acts." He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from that university, receiving honors for his B.A. Thesis "Anglo-American Perceptions of Japanese Imperialism in Taiwan."