Treatment for Fordyce Spots

Hello, I wanted to contact you in regard to Fordyce Spots. I've been living with Fordyce Spots on my upper lip since age 17 or so. A few years ago, a dermatologist "tested" the hyfrecator on a couple areas - this seemed to help minimize them a bit, but they kind of reappeared. I also noticed that while I was on Accutane, the appearance of them pretty much dissipated entirely as it dried out the glands. Of course they reappeared after my Accutane cycle was complete. Over the years, it looks like they've become more prominent. I know some doctors simply say not to worry about them, but I find myself becoming very depressed by them every couple months as I have large lips and many, many spots. This has led to many hours of research and I'm very curious about trying CO2 laser treatment as it seems like the most effective treatment. I'm wondering if you have experience treating these. Thanks.


Hi C.
Thanks for the email. We do treat Fordyce spots on the lip. I agree that the CO2 is usually the most effective option. We just treated a young male patient with Fordyce spots. We did a test patch first and then full treatment once we were satisfied with how he responded. I like to do it like that as every patient is different. We don’t want to leave scars that look worse that the spots – so a conservative approach with a test patch is good.

You need to be sure that you have been off of Accutane for at least a year before we can treat you with the CO2 as Accutane decreases the ability for the skin to heal itself. It is otherwise a wonderful medication for acne (obviously).


Please call at 206-859-5777 to make an appointment for a consultation. Do know, that insurance will not cover the treatment of Fordyce spots. It is out of pocket (cosmetic). We can discuss cost when I see how large the area is.


Thank you again.

Jennifer Reichel MD

Director, Pacific Dermatology & Cosmetic Center

11011 Meridian Ave N Ste 102

Seattle WA, 98133




2 responses to “Treatment for Fordyce Spots”

  1. Maria Luciano says:


    I also have Fordyce spots on my upper lip. I first noticed them 8 years ago. I am Asia, early 30's and light skinned. I am interested in treating some of the more visible spots with CO2 laser. First, do you treat women with fordyce spots on their lips or only men? I think the spots are bit different on women, the spots are not as raised and are flatter, at least mine are. The spots are mostly in the vermillion of my lips and right outside of the of my upper lip, which have increased and progressed. Some spots have coalesced into bigger clusters. Have you treated cluster of spots on the vermillion of the lips? If so, what can I expect after the procedure? Will there be improvement?

    I appreciate your feedback.


  2. editor says:

    Hi Maria. Yes, I do treat women with Fordyce spots. Yes, I have treated clusters of spots on the vermillion border with a lot of success. I do use the CO2 laser. In good cases, the spots are almost, or completely gone. However, they may grow back over time. In the post-op period, the treated skin will be very raw and need lots of ointment. My patients have done well. Risks do include the possibility that the spots won't go away, or that you may need a second treatment. Discoloration of the area can also happen (white or brown). Scarring is rare, but possible. We will cover for infection with medications in most cases. We can do a small "test" area first to see how the procedure works for you if you would like. Please call 206-859-5777 to set up an appointment with me. Be sure to mention that you communicated with me and the consult should be with me.

    Thank you. Dr. Reichel

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