When a man discovers penis bumps on his equipment, he often worries about what this might mean in terms of his penis health, and with good reason. Sometimes bumps can indeed mean a condition exists which needs attending to. But in the case of Fordyce spots, the bumps are benign and don’t really require attention medically.
Nonetheless, some men (and some partners) don’t like the look of Fordyce spots on and around the penis and may want to do something about them. There are many DIY remedies floating around the internet for removing Fordyce spots – but should a man use them to get rid of these harmless penis bumps?
What they are
The body has a network of glands known as sebaceous glands. There are many of these in the penis, and they provide an important function. They create and transport the body’s natural lubricating oils to the skin, where they help keep the skin moisturized and prevent drying out. On the penis, this helps keep skin from becoming dry, flaky and cracked – a look that no man really wants.
Sometimes, however, the sebaceous glands work harder than they have to. They become overactive. When this happens, they can be seen on the top of the skin as tiny little dots, often white or another color that is somewhat paler than the skin surrounding them. This is all that Fordyce spots are – overactive sebaceous glands. They are not dangerous and pose no real danger to a person. And they are very common, with some doctors estimating that some 80% of men have these penis bumps. (Some people may also get them on their lips as well.)
Nonetheless, some people find them aesthetically unpleasing and wish to have them removed. Since Fordyce spots have been around for thousands of years, many folk “remedies” exist for them. But are they effective? Not really.
For example, many DIY remedies assume that Fordyce spots are due to bacterial growth, which is not the case. But nonetheless these remedies purport to destroy bacteria in the area, and thus remove the penis bumps. Typical among these home methods are the application of turmeric mixed with apple cider vinegar; tea tree oil; jojoba oil; or lemon. Whether they actually affect bacteria may be open to debate, but they definitely do not remove Fordyce spots.
Another tactic has to do with moisturizing the skin. Coconut oil and aloe vera are suggested for this, and while they can help keep skin hydrated, Fordyce spots do not respond to them. Neither do they respond to simply boosting vitamin intake, as other old wives’ tales suggest. For that matter, exfoliating via an oatmeal scrub or a mixture of vanilla and sugar is also unlikely to help.
For those men who really do wish to remove their Fordyce spots, it’s suggested they consult with a dermatologist. There are some methods, such as laser surgery and chemical peels, which can be effective. But since these penis bumps are benign, a man may want to be sure he cannot live with them before taking steps to remove them.