Fordyce's Condition : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Fordyce's Condition is a common skin disorder. It is the skin condition characterized by tiny, yellowish bumps. It is most commonly present over the face. It can be present on lips, tongue, cheeks, penis and female labia. It can be found on the lower lip also but in rare cases.

It is a serious condition but non-infectious. It is a harmless condition, causing no danger. It usually resolves itself. It may be a single lesion or may be present in groups. Most of the young adults have this problem. Size of spots may vary from 2 to 5 mm. Growth of lesions does not affect surrounding tissues. Name of condition is given after the name of the person who wrote, first about it.

Fordyce’s condition is caused by the overgrowth of sebaceous glands but these sebaceous glands do not have hair follicles. These tiny dots may appear inside the mouth and rarely on the genital’s skin. It is not sexually transmitted disease. There are no systematic conditions associated with Fordyce’s condition. If papules are present at the time of birth, it becomes prevalent in the puberty. Presence of these dots is of cosmetic concern. When these spots are present on genitals, there is no danger of sexually transmitted disease. When present in mouth, they cause no pathological changes.

Causes of Fordyce’s Condition

Exact cause of this condition is not known. It may be of generic character. About 40% cases may be due to hereditary disorder. This condition is not caused by any viruses and hence not contagious.

Common causes of Fordyce’s Condition are

Family history

Viral Infection

Symptoms of Fordyce's condition

 Fordyce’s Condition has following signs and symptoms.

Tiny yellow dots are present on the skin.

Diagnosis of the Condition

Doctor needs to examine carefully to confirm the Fordyce’s Condition. This condition is sometimes called the ectopic sebaceous glands. The main indication of this condition is location of outbreaks and the yellow color of papules. This condition is sometimes misdiagnosed as warts due to vermilion border.

To rule out any sexually transmitted disease in case of small yellow dots present on the genitals, doctor will take biopsy of skin or take blood sample.

Treatment Available for Fordyce’s Condition

These yellow papules are absolutely harmless and no treatment is required to clear them. You can apply Tretinoin gel or cream over the yellow spots daily. This treatment helps to prevent the condition from getting worse. In combination with Tretinoin gel, you can apply alpha hydroxyl acid agents for maximum positive results. These creams are generally used to treat acne and other blemishes. Sometimes after stopping the treatment with Tretinoin gel or cream afterwards, condition reappears.

If condition does not get better, you can apply Accutane. But with Accutane, there are many side effects too, like joint and muscle pain, chapped lips, dry skin, intestinal problems, itching, temporary hair thinning, irritation in eyes, headaches and some more. It can do damage to the liver.

Doctors may prescribe TCA chemical peels but when the treatment is stopped Fordyce’s condition will come back. Laser vaporization can also be performed to clear off the condition. Other options, to treat the Fordyce’s condition, are Diathermy or liquid nitrogen freezing. But make sure not to pick or scratch the yellow spots.

The treatment for Fordyce’s condition is recommended only when these lesions hinder with any of your activity or become a source of embarrassment. Sometimes young adults get panic with condition but once they consult doctor, they can feel at ease. These papules are thought as something very serious sometimes. This is just an innocuous condition and at the same time is quite common; there is no reason to get panic.

Though exact cause of Fordyce’s condition is not known, but person should take care of their personal and oral hygiene. And also should take balanced diet containing folic acid, vitamins A, B, C and E. Vitamin C helps to strengthen the immune system.

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