When wanting to impress a date, men take special care to ensure that their hair is in place, their clothes emphasize their best qualities and that they are at their most presentable - and that includes making sure their penis is at its most presentable. Sometimes, however, there may be something about their penis’ physical appearance which can give a partner pause, such as penis bumps. Often penis bumps, such as those known as Fordyce spots, are totally benign and not a penis health issue at all, but a partner may not know this. Sometimes men also feel self-conscious about having Fordyce spots. So what should a man do about these harmless penis bumps?

Learn more

The first thing is for a man to learn a little more about Fordyce spots.

To start at the beginning, Fordyce spots are small (1mm to 3mm) pale bumps that can appear in men on the penis and/or scrotum, in women on the vagina, and in either sex on the lips. Some people describe them as resembling very small grains of rice, and they are easier to see when the skin is stretched tight (and so more likely to show up on an erect penis than a flaccid one). Often they are almost invisible and many men may be unaware that they have them. (An estimated 20% of men have Fordyce spots on their penis or balls.) As noted before, they are essentially harmless, although they may itch at times.

These spots appear because a little excess oil has become trapped in the sebaceous glands, rather than being secreted onto a hair follicle as usual. Fordyce spots may be more common during adolescence, suggesting that hormonal and metabolic imbalances can play a factor. Other common triggers are stress and anxiety. Typically, they go away after two or three weeks, but they also tend to come back often; in some guys, it may seem like they always have these penis bumps.

Explaining to a partner about Fordyce spots may put their concerns to rest. However, some men may still feel uncomfortable about having these "blemishes" and so may want to find a treatment for them.

Treatment

There are several possible treatment options for men concerned about Fordyce spots.

- Dietary changes. Some doctors believe that eating foods that are high in antioxidants can help decrease the excess oil that causes the spots to form. In addition, asparagus and garlic are thought by some to help control these oils. Some natural medicine specialists believe that applying lemon extract directly to the skin may be of benefit.

- Chemical peels. Some dermatologists suggest a chemical peel for removing Fordyce spots. In these cases, a mixture is added to the skin, allowed to dry and then removed, taking the top few layers of skin with it. However, the newly exposed skin is likely to be red and very sensitive, so it may not be worth the cost.

- Lasers. Pulse dye lasers have been used, but the success of this expensive option depends on several factors, including age and hue of skin.

- Cryotherapy. Freezing the spots off is also an option, if performed by a professional. However, this could result in skin tissue damage.

Because of the risks associated with many of these options, a man should consider treatment only if the presence of Fordyce spots causes him genuine difficulties in relationships, self-esteem or emotional well-being.

If penis bumps from Fordyce spots cause itching, regular application of a top notch penis health oil (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) may help. Select an oil which contains a combination of moisturizing agents, such as shea butter and vitamin E. In addition, an oil with a powerful antioxidant, such as alpha lipoic acid, may be of benefit in helping to lessen Fordyce spots’ effects.