How to Reduce the Size of Sebaceous Prominence

Sebaceous prominences, or Fordyce’s Spots, are small, pale spots or bumps that can be found in or near the genital area of an affected person. Fordyce’s Spots are relatively common, not contagious and not caused by any virus or infection. They are solely a cosmetic problem. As with any growth or spot on the body, it should be seen by a doctor to rule out other more harmful conditions, including genital warts or infected pores. If for appearance reasons a patient wants the spots removed or reduced there are a number of options available.

Step 1

Use lasers or electro-dessication. Laser treatment and electro-dessication must be performed by a qualified professional to prevent severe burning. Laser-treatment options include a vaporizing laser like a CO2 laser or a pulse-dye laser. Vaporizing lasers burn off a portion of the skin in a small area, which can lead to scarring but is generally less expensive than the pulse-dye lasers. Pulse-dye lasers act by targeting the blood vessels under the skin, leaving the surface skin untouched. This removes the threat of scarring found with CO2 lasers but is much more costly. Electro-dessication involves cutting the area with a surgical scalpel and cauterizing the area. As with any cutting procedure, there will be some scarring.

Step 2

Consult with your doctor about possible medications. There are a number of medications that have shown some results in reducing and removing Fordyce’s Spots from affected areas. These are usually creams prescribed for acne or “chicken skin.” Always confer with a doctor, as some of these medications may be too abrasive or may burn delicate areas.

Step 3

Obtain a Trichloroacetic Acid (TCA) chemical peel. Trichloroacetic Acid is an intermediate-to-deep chemical peel that sloughs off the outer layer of skin. You are essentially burning off a few layers of your skin, so it is best that a qualified aesthetician or dermatologist performs the process to reduce the risk of severe burning, scarring and blindness (if used near the eyes). Additional treatment may be needed after the peel to prevent the spots from returning.

Sebaceous prominences