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A sebaceous prominence is a commonly used reference to a condition that is also called Fordyce spots. This condition is named after the American dermatologist John Addison Fordyce. These ‘spots’ are actually enlarged sebaceous glands found in the skin, which become visible as small raised bumps.

They are most commonly found in the genital areas and thus can raise concerns about infection, transmission, and being contagious and be a cause of embarrassment to the affected individual.

Here are some commonly asked questions about sebaceous prominences or Fordyce spots answered.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Associated With Fordyce Spots?

The most common sign is the presence of small, white raised projections on the surface of the skin. The shaft of the penis is commonly affected, although the spots may only be visible during an erection, or if the skin has been stretched out. They also appear commonly on the skin of the scrotum.

There is no pain or burning sensation associated with the spots, although some people may notice a thick discharge from them occasionally.

Although males are the most commonly associated with this condition, it can also be present in women where the spots appear in the region of the vulva. The lips can also be affected by the same condition in a lesser number of cases.

Is A Sebaceous Prominence A Type Of STD?  

This condition is not an STD. It is not caused by any virus or other infectious organism and it cannot be transferred from one person to another even on intimate contact. Simply put, if a person develops these spots on their body then it's not someone else’s fault.

Now here is the truth. Why these spots appear in some people is not known. Scientists have hypothesized that genetic heredity might be a factor to consider, however that is also not yet certain since most people are uncomfortable talking about the subject.

Management Of Fordyce Spots

Since these spots do not pose any medical problem to the patient or those around, there really is no medical treatment that is to be advised. The main complaint of the patient is only aesthetic and the fact that it may make their current or future sexual partners uncomfortable.

If, however, patients do desire to get rid of these spots then a consultation with a dermatologist is a good idea. Laser treatments are most effective in getting rid of these spots. Some other minor surgical options are also available that can help in removing these growths. Over the counter options like gels, creams, and other concoctions may or may not work.

The risk of these spots appearing after laser treatment is lower than all other procedures.

One important thing to remember is that when the patient first notices these spots or growths on their body, they should treat them as infective. Avoid sexual contact with others until the doctor has diagnosed the condition as Fordyce spots and concluded that there is no reason to worry. There are other infective conditions that may appear to be similar in description to Fordyce spots.  

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