When it comes to our lips, the outermost layer of the epidermis is thinner in comparison to rest of the skin. This makes them sensitive or delicate. Bumps or spots could occur on the lips as a reaction to the use of certain medications or cosmetic products. White spots could even be Fordyce's spots. Also referred to as sebaceous prominence, Fordyce's spots are a form of ectopic sebaceous glands that appear on the lips.
What are Fordyce's Spots?
Slightly raised, pale white spots that appear in groups on the lips, inside the mouth and also other parts of body were first described by an American dermatologist, John Addison Fordyce. These spots are around 1-3 mm in diameter. These appear due to excessive secretion of certain chemicals and hormones. Besides appearing on the vermilion border of the lips, these spots could also appear on other parts of the body.
Are these contagious? Well, these spots are not associated with viral or bacterial infections which is why these are not contagious. These spots are present even at the time of birth, but they may become more prominent after the onset of puberty. One might not be able to detect them unless they are prominent. Moreover, these are painless. In case you are feeling any pain in and around them, you must get yourself medically examined. It's possible that you might be suffering from an infection.
Since Fordyce's spots don't cause any pain and are not contagious, you don't need to worry. But if these are bothering you, you can consult a doctor for treatment.
Doctors might prescribe creams or gels to tackle this problem. Certain medications that are used to treat acne might be helpful in treating this condition. Generally, dermatologists prescribe tretinoin cream/gel along with alpha hydroxy acid agents for treating Fordyce's spots on lips. Tretinoin cream is quite helpful and will prevent this condition from aggravating further. This cream must be applied on the affected area daily.
Fordyce's spots can also be reduced by vaporizing laser treatments. Electrodessication can be helpful in reducing these spots. However, electrodessication may cause side effects such as burning sensation or scarring.
This procedure involves the use of extreme cold temperatures to destroy these spots. Though you might not experience too much pain and scarring, this procedure might cause some damage to the nearby tissue and nerves. Generally, doctors prescribe analgesics to get rid of redness and pain. In some cases, doctors might prescribe trichloroacetic peels to treat them. The peeling process could cause your skin to become very sensitive.
It would therefore be best to use prescribed skin care products. Always use a sunscreen while going outdoors on a sunny day. Some natural products containing sage extract, vitamin E acetate and sesame extract might also help in treating this condition. You must also pay a lot of attention to oral hygiene and avoid scratching over them.
Fordyce's spots are benign and are not really a cause of concern. So don't obsess over them or let this affect your self-confidence. These spots appear as a result of an overgrowth of sebaceous glands and don't really pose serious health risks. However, those of you who are keen on getting rid of these spots for cosmetic reasons must consult a dermatologist.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.