Aa
A
A
A
Close
Dermatology Community
53.6k Members
Avatar universal

fordyce's condition/hpv problem (lip line - white bumps/redness)

hi everybody, this is my first time posting here, although i have read through different forums for a couple of months now and have found this site extremely helpful.

ok so here is my problem: about 4 or 5 months ago i contracted hpv. i wasnt completely sure i actually contracted it until a couple months ago when i noticed a wart in my genital area and had it frozen off. this whole ordeal, although it stressed me out a lot, went relatively smoothly.

however, the thing is, that about a month after i believe i contracted hpv, i noticed two small white dots on the border of my top lip. i assumed they were just white heads because i have had semi-frequent pimples on the borders of my lips before. So i put some tazorac on them to cure the problem. however all that happened was a real pimple showed up right next to the dots, got big, popped, and went away leaving a slight scar. while the pimple got big, the two dots seemed to fade away, but after the pimple went away the dots came back. so now i have these two white dots on the edge of my lip on top of a scar that is a little darker than the color of my lips.

I was worried for a while that they could be the beginnings of warts on my lips, but judging from the what i have read and from the fact that i did not engage in oral sex with my partner, i doubt this is the case. My dermatologist took a very brief look at them and said they are either clogged pores or sebaceous glands. Then when he saw the sebaceous glands actually on my lips (which i'm absolutely sure is fordyce's condition) he said they're probably just more sebaceous glands and there is nothing i can do about them.

however in this last month or so i have noticed many more of these small white dots appearing along the edges of my lips and a little above. i wasnt too worried at first but then they became more and more visible, and started having lots of redness around them, which is the worst part, making them even more visible. this is causing me to start to doubt that these dots are sebaceous glands.

they seem to be worse after i wash my face or if i stretch my lips a lot or anything like that, and sometimes appear very oily and shiny. i find at times the red area seems to sting/burn until i pat it down with a paper towel.

they seem to blend into my lip more and not be as visible when i drink LOTS of water, right after sleeping, or when i drink alcohol.

i apologize for the length of this post, but i thought it would be best to include as much information as possible in order to clear up any vagueness or over generalizations of conditions.

if anyone has experienced anything like this, please let me know what has worked/not worked for you, or your ideas on what it might be?

i am assuming that the timing of these bumps and the hpv are just coincidence, but if there is any reason they may be connected, i am open to hearing it.

again, i apologize for the length, but hopefully some of you can relate and we can help each other out. i wish good health to all of you, thanks.
35 Responses
Avatar universal
I've been reading more and more posts and I'm convinced this is a viral condition that just isn't recognized as contagious.  I contracted mine 18 years ago from an 18 y/o male and since have given it to two people orally and one vaginally.  I feel like a leper!  Nobody in their right mind will kiss me, so the partners I find are all basket-cases.  I keep to myself anymore until I can find a dermatologist that's open-minded enough to consider that Fordyce is a common misdiagnoses for a small white pus filled lesion that's likely caused by a member of the HPV family.  I know what oil glands look like and they aren't contagious. Please, please, somebody do some research into this!  
Avatar universal
I have the same stuff on my lips. I also think that this contagious because the dots were noticed when I started to meet with my husband; he has them on the same area as you do...
Avatar universal
i also have these little bumps on my lips and my daughter that is 2 years old has it also..i was told that it was fox fordyce and that it could be taken off by laser surgery but the scaring afterwords may be bad..i dontknow what to do about it...ive tryed all the over the couner creams diaper rash creams cold sore creams even facial scrub to try to open pores ....i feel ya! this *****!
Avatar universal
can i see a picture of it?
Avatar universal
techno72, I noticed your post on another hpv forum and wanted to add to your comments.

I too got these dots, showing up a few days after giving an unprotected ** to a guy in his 30s. I've never had them before, or if so never to this degree. Though they look exactly like the Fordcye's spots shown in online images and described by others (small, white, more apparent when stretching skin, more thickly clustered around the corners of the lip), it's hard to believe it's just a sebaceous gland considering they cropped up right after direct contact with another's sexual organ.

techno72, in your other comments on hpvfaq.org you mentioned that harsh skin abrasion seems to be a factor in the transmission. The day I performed that fateful act I had lip chapping and had put vaseline on. My upper lip was especially bothersome and I scrubbed away a lining of dead skin. Perhaps this is why my upper lip is "infected" and my lower lip isn't, but it seems a majority of online commenters with this complaint are similar in only the upper lip being affected. If this is HPV, wouldn't it be transmitted to the lower lip at least occasionally?

It was 6 weeks ago when I contracted these things, and they aren't going away. Right where my upper lip hits the skin of the lower lip there are nasty clusters of these white protrusions, much smaller and more tightly packed, looking almost like very small, short tentacles growing outward in a similar direction, as when hair is brushed. One of the clusters has redness around it. The look of these white things is similar to the wart growth I've seen on warts I've gotten elsewhere on my body. I think I would have to go to a dermatologist and not ask but demand that a biopsy be taken on some flaked-off skin from the lip to test whether it's a strain of HPV. I might do that some day, but for now it's stress and worry as with you.
Avatar universal
Some other comments since this is a web hot topic asked by many but unreliably answered.

I mentioned above that "right where my upper lip hits the skin of the lower lip there are nasty clusters of these white protrusions, much smaller and more tightly packed, looking almost like very small, short tentacles growing outward in a similar direction, as when hair is brushed."

Those suspicious looking growths are fairly widespread without distinct borders - and a distinct border is apparently a characteristic of an HPV growth.  

Anyway, here is a picture of oral "verruca vulgaris" growth on someone's gums

http://img.medscape.com/pi/emed/ckb/dermatology/1048885-1079920-3327.jpg
source: http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1079920-overview

On the top and corners of my lip the white dots are diffuse and look exactly like other medical images of Fordyce's spots found on medical sites and personal submitted images. But the white dots near my inner lip have that suspicious verruca wart-like growth, very much like the above picture but on a smaller scale and not quite as tightly packed. They are not protruding outward yet, though the growths don't seem to be slowing or reversing to normal so it freaks me out.

Another write-up on oral HPV describes "Squamous papilloma" growths as "the most common epithelial neoplasm in the mouth and is typically seen on the lingual frenum, lips, palate, and buccal mucosa." It goes on, "The lesion has fine finger-like projections resembling a sea anemone or it may show a more cauliflower configuration." Sea anemone, or my characterization, tentacles ... oh crap.
source: http://www.cda.org/library/cda_member/pubs/journal/jour1200/pap.html

-Perhaps all the dots on my (and many of your) lips are HPV related after all.
-Or perhaps the Fordyce's spots just came up at the same time as HPV growth on my inner lip.
-Or perhaps (most favorably) it's all just completely benign untransmittable Fordyce's granules that just HAPPENED to show up after giving a man oral sex.

I have serious doubts about this last option. This seems to be an STD. Someone with this issue who had a biopsy done should report, as the many topics online about these elusive white dots, often cropping up after risky sex, provide no reassuring answers.
Have an Answer?
Top Dermatology Answerers
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Learn to identify and prevent bites from summer’s most common pests.
Doctors argue for legislation to curb this dangerous teen trend in the latest Missouri Medicine report.
10 ways to keep your skin healthy all winter long
How to get rid of lumpy fat on your arms, hips, thighs and bottom
Diet “do’s” and “don’ts” for healthy, radiant skin.
Images of rashes caused by common skin conditions