John Addison Fordyce

John Addison Fordyce (1858 –1925)

John Addison Fordyce (1858 –1925) was an American dermatologist.

Eponymously affiliated with Fox–Fordyce disease (1902) and Fordyce spots (Fordyce disease) as well as Fordyce lesion (angiokeratoma of the scrotum)

  • Born on February 16, 1858
  • 1881 – Chicago Medical College
  • 1886 – Traveled to Europe working with Moriz Kaposi (Vienna) and Jean Alfred Fournier (Paris)
  • 1889 – Specialist in dermatology and syphilis in New York
  • Professor at Bellevue Hospital College
  • Died June 4, 1925

Medical Eponyms
Fox–Fordyce disease (1902) [aka Apocrine miliaria]

A chronic itchy papular condition occurring in areas of the skin with apocrine glands especially the axilla of young women.

Fordyce spots (Fordyce disease)

Multiple yellow papules on the lips or buccal mucosa representing extopic sebaceaous glands. Lesions may also occur on the labia minora, glans penis and inner surface of the foreskin. enlarged ectopic sebacous glands in the mucosa of the mouth (lips, cheek, tongue) and genitals.

Fordyce lesion (Angiokeratoma of the scrotum)

Benign scrotal angiomata seen in the elderly, characterized by multiple, spherical, reddish to black, elevated lesions rarely over 4 mm in diameter, which usually follow the course of the scrotal veins.

Major Publications


Fordyce spots: Not the first physician to have seen the benign anomaly of Fordyce spots, but the first physician so observant as to recognize this condition as having never been reported and by doing so he gained lasting eponymous credit

Fordyce lesion: Similarly scrotal angiokeratoma was first described by Ernest Wyndham Cottle (1847-1919) in the St. George’s Hospital Reports (1878). Many names were attributed to the condition (mainly described on hands and feet) others described similar lesions using various terms such as naevus à pernions (Bazin 1862), dermatite de congelazione (Breda 1881), verrucous naevi etc. Termed angiokeratoma by Mibelli (1889).



Eponymous terms


the person behind the name

Dr Orla Conway LITFL Author

MB, BCh, BAO LRCP & SI (Hons). Graduated RCSI Dublin May 2021. Currently working in Western Australia as a junior doctor. Interests include Urology and General Surgery.

BA MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM. Emergency physician, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.  Passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

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