Dictionary > Fordyce spots

Fordyce spots

Definition
noun
Sebaceous glands that appear as raised bumps on the vermilion border of the lips, on the scrotum, shaft of the penis, or on the labia
Supplement
Fordyce spots are sebaceous glands that appear as raised bumps or white spots on the vermilion border of the lips, on the scrotum, shaft of the penis, or on the labia. When they appear on the foreskin of the penis they are referred to as Tyson’s glands and when they appear on the penis, they are called penile sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands that are prominent inside the mouth are specifically called oral Fordyce granules or ectopic sebaceous glands. They are described as ectopic because these sebaceous glands are in the wrong place, i.e. not in hair follicles. Since they are in the wrong place the sebum from the sebaceous glands cannot be discharged properly. This results in the accumulation of sebum within the gland. As a result, bacteria may grow and therefore inflammation of the affected area ensues.
These spots appear pale red, yellow-white, or skin-colored. They have a diameter ranging from 1 to 3 mm. They are painless and are harmless. The occurrence of Fordyce spots is not associated with any illness or disease. They are also not infectious. However, they appear similar to warts and therefore may raise concerns, particularly, cosmetic issues. Their appearance is said to be related to stress, anxieties, and other health issues.
Also called:

  • Fordyce granules
  • Fordyce disease
  • sebaceous prominence

See also:

  • sebaceous gland
  • sebum


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