How To Treat Lip Pigmentation
Over time, lips can become darker as a result of things like smoking and caffeine. There are several natural ways to help lighten your lips, like lemon juice and aloe. Some people develop darker lips over time due to a range of medical and lifestyle factors.
excessive exposure to the sunlack of hydration cigarette smoking allergic reactions to toothpaste, lipstick, etc. too much caffeine lip sucking
Most of these causes can be addressed by lifestyle changes, such as wearing sunscreen, limiting caffeine intake, or changing toothpaste brands. The following can also lead to darker lips:
chemotherapy anemia vitamin deficiency excessive fluoride use
Treating hyperpigmentation is often a cosmetic decision. Laser treatments and chemicals such as hydroquinone and kojic acid are often used to treat lip hyperpigmentation. Many hyperpigmentation treatments work by inhibiting an enzyme that produces melanin. You might, however, find a natural lip lightener that suits your needs. Here are some to consider.
Does lip pigmentation go away?
13 Lip Hyperpigmentation Treatments That Derms Actually Approve Of If you’ve ever found yourself wondering how to apply on your lips, chances are you’re dealing with a known as lip hyperpigmentation. As consultant dermatologist Mara Weinstein, MD, explains, lip hyperpigmentation is a result of increased melanin deposits in the lip and says it can be caused by “several reasons including smoking, trauma, inflammatory reactions (such as food allergy), medications, and sun exposure.” Ryan Turner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, tells us “upper-lip hyperpigmentation is most often the result of the medical condition,” He adds, “Anyone can experience melasma, but it can be seen at higher frequencies in skin of color and women,” The good news is, regardless of the root cause, lip hyperpigmentation can be corrected.
- Mara Weinstein, MD, is a consultant dermatologist with clean and ethical skincare brand,
- Ryan Turner, MD, of, is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City who practices cosmetic dermatology, general dermatology, surgical dermatology, and laser surgery.
- , MD, is a board-certified dermatologist with over 20 years of experience who specializes in cosmetic and laser dermatology.
- is a board-certified dermatologist and a member of the Byrdie Review Board.
01 of 13 In mild cases, lip hyperpigmentation can be the result of an allergic reaction. If this is the case, Weinstein suggests letting it run its course. “If the hyperpigmentation was due to an allergic reaction from food, a topical medication, or cosmetic application, typically this will resolve on its own over the course of a few months,” she says.02 of 13 We love baby-soft lips as much as the next person, but Weinstein cautions those with lip hyperpigmentation against abrasive lip scrubs.
- She explains that too much exfoliating “can cause trauma to the lips, called microabrasions, especially if you’re using a beaded or sandy-type exfoliant.” 03 of 13 If you have a habit of licking your lips, Weinstein tells us this can be the leading cause of your hyperpigmentation.
- She says, “Oftentimes, patients with lip-licking habits can develop hyperpigmentation from inflammation of the skin.” If this sounds like you, be mindful of this habit.04 of 13 Weinstein confidently suggests “avoiding smoking will help prevent discoloration.” She tells us, “If your lip hyperpigmentation is due to smoking, it’s less likely to resolve,” 05 of 13 Turner attributes melasma and other hyperpigmentation to hormone-regulating medications like,
“Upper-lip hyperpigmentation is sometimes part of what is called ‘pregnancy mask’ and can be extensive,” says Turner. “Speak to your doctor about any hormonal influences that may be contributing and how they can be modified.” 06 of 13 If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentation of any sort, it’s common to think that the more chemicals and strongest laser treatments, the better.
- While this may be true, it’s important to engage in these techniques after consulting a dermatologist.
- Turner urges you to note that sometimes “chemical peels, lasers, and at-home devices can even paradoxically make worse.” He adds, “It’s important to have a professional who knows how to manage any potential side effects.” 07 of 13 Turner reassures us that “treating melasma or other causes of upper-lip hyperpigmentation is challenging even in the hands of a professional.” With that said, it’s important to know when it’s time to seek professional help.
He tells us, “If at-home remedies are not working, it’s time to see a board-certified dermatologist to go over a personalized skincare routine that suits your skin type and will safely treat your dark discoloration.” 08 of 13 Trauma to the skin around the lips can further exacerbate the darkening on the lips—Turner says this includes hair removal such as threading and waxing.
He recommends spacing out your appointments or giving them up altogether “to minimize the physical trauma to the area that is stimulating the pigmentation.” 09 of 13 In general, sunscreen is vital to healthy skin. Turner explains, “Sunscreens that contain mineral blockers such as zinc oxide can prevent melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation,” He also adds, “Daily application of a mineral blocker SPF 30 is typically recommended, but for my melasma patients, I have them use an SPF 50 or higher.” 10 of 13 If you have specific skincare goals in mind, it’s important to choose your product ingredients accordingly.
Diggs, Weinstein, and Turner all recommend investing in active ingredients hydroquinone, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, and retinol. However, Diggs warns these ingredients “can be very effective but not overused, which might create irritation.” If you’re looking for something a bit more gentle, Weinstein recommends brighteners like niacinamide and licorice,” but adds, ” aren’t as effective in reversing the pigmentary changes.
On the flip side, if you’re looking for something medical-grade, Turner tells us that “agents such as topical tranexamic acid and topical cysteamine can also be considered by your board-certified dermatologist.” Diggs adds, “If you have more sensitive skin, avoid possible irritants like mint, for instance.” Ingredients that irritate the area will only further exacerbate lip hyperpigmentation.11 of 13 If you’re looking for the fastest results, Diggs recommends looking into laser treatments that correct the melanin overproduction rather than just treat it topically.
“The lip area responds very well to laser treatments like the that specifically targets melanin pigment,” says Diggs. She says this particular laser uses “nano- and pico-second light wavelengths to target the melanin in the skin, dissolving it into smaller and smaller pieces.
With the darker melanin removed, the lips automatically lighten to their natural color.” 12 of 13 Lily Talakoub, MD, FAAD, says that moles on the lips can tend to look like pigmentation. “If an individual mole or freckle appears on your lip, I recommend seeing a dermatologist for evaluation,” she says.
Dr. Talakoub also notes that melanoma can occur on the lip too. “Lip lesions needs evaluation as this is a high risk area for sun damage and skin cancers,” she explains.13 of 13 Suppose you have sensitive skin that can’t handle these harsher ingredients.
- Basit H, Godse KV, Al Aboud AM. Melasma., In: StatPearls, Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2021 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459271/
- Fatima, S., Braunberger, T., Mohammad, T.F., Kohli, I., & Hamzavi, I.H. (2020). The Role of Sunscreen in Melasma and Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation. Indian journal of dermatology, 65 (1), 5–10. https://doi.org/10.4103/ijd.IJD_295_18
: 13 Lip Hyperpigmentation Treatments That Derms Actually Approve Of
What causes lip pigmentation?
People’s lips can vary in color and appearance depending on several factors, such as their natural skin tone, sun exposure levels, and overall health. A person can experience lip discoloration after consuming things that contain pigments, such as berries, beets, and wine. Share on Pinterest Cyanosis is a possible cause of lip discoloration. Image credit: Ciernik M, 2016 Blood changes color depending on its oxygen content. For example, oxygenated blood appears bright red, while deoxygenated blood can appear either dark red or purple.
Low oxygen content in the blood or poor circulation can cause blueish discoloration in the skin and lips. This is known as cyanosis. Cyanosis occurs when the oxygen saturation levels in a person’s blood fall below 85%, A person may also develop cyanosis if they have abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein present in the blood.
Normal hemoglobin adheres to oxygen molecules and transports them throughout the blood. However, the presence of abnormal hemoglobin can significantly reduce the oxygen content of the blood. Other possible causes of cyanosis include:
pneumoniafluid buildup in the lung cavity blood clotsheart attackexposure to toxinsexposure to freezing temperaturesspending time at high altitudes
Cyanosis usually indicates an underlying medical condition that requires treatment. A person should seek medical care if they experience any of the following symptoms of cyanosis:
shallow breathing or difficulty breathingheadaches that occur more often than usualfatigue or muscle weaknesschest painconfusion dizziness or loss of coordination
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when a person does not have enough iron in their body. The symptoms of anemia vary depending on the severity. People who have mild iron deficiency anemia may not experience any symptoms at all. However, in other cases, the following can occur:
chest painfatiguedizzinessheadacheshortness of breathirregular heartbeatbrittle nailspale or white lipscracked skin at the sides of the mouth
When a person has an excess of iron in the body, it can cause hemochromatosis. One symptom of hemochromatosis is skin hyperpigmentation. This may result in discoloration of the lips. Some other symptoms of hemochromatosis include:
joint inflammation fatigueabdominal painunintentional weight loss liver diseaselow libido erectile dysfunction
Oral candidiasis, or oral thrush, occurs when an overgrowth of the Candida fungus develops in the mouth. Oral thrush can cause white or yellow patches on the inner cheeks, tongue, gums, or lips, as well as:
redness or soreness in the mouth pain when eating or swallowingdry, cracked skin at the corners of the mouth and lips a bad taste in the mouthloss of taste
Dark, crusty bumps called actinic keratosis, or sunspots, may develop due to sun exposure. They can appear on areas of skin including the lips, face, back, chest, and arms. Sunspots vary in size and color, ranging from light tan to dark red. Not all actinic keratosis lesions are cancerous.
However, an estimated 10–15% of lesions will develop into squamous cell carcinomas, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Precancerous actinic keratosis legions usually feel tender or painful to the touch, and they may appear red or inflamed. Laugier-Hunziker syndrome is a benign skin condition that causes dark brown spots, called macules, on the lips and the lining of the mouth.
Macules can be 2–5 millimeters in diameter and also occur on the tips of the fingers and toes. Laugier-Hunziker syndrome does not require medical treatment. However, some people choose to have macules removed for aesthetic reasons. Some people may experience hyperpigmentation and other skin changes as a side effect of certain medications.
cytotoxic drugs, which doctors use to treat cancerantipsychoticsanticonvulsantsantimalarials tetracyclines, which doctors use to treat bacterial infections medicines that contain heavy metals
Red, inflamed, or dry lips may occur as a result of an allergic reaction to ingredients present in cosmetics and oral hygiene products. Some possible irritants include:
lipsticks leather rubberlatextopical antibiotics products containing fragrances, preservatives, or metals
An allergic reaction involving the lips can cause:
redness and swellingdry, flaky skinhypersensitive skinbleeding pain
These symptoms will usually improve once a person stops using the product that caused the allergic reaction. However, people who experience persistent or worsening symptoms should contact a doctor. Treatment options for lip discoloration vary depending on the underlying cause.
laser therapy light therapychemical peelsliquid nitrogen spraymedicated ointments, such as 5-fluorouracil and Solaraze
The following natural compounds may help reduce hyperpigmentation, according to a 2018 systematic review in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology :
aloe vera gelmulberry extractliquiritin, which is a compound derived from licorice fungal extracts, such as kojic acid and lignin peroxidaseniacinamide, which occurs in root vegetables green tea extractturmericvitamin C
People can prevent various causes of lip discoloration by:
practicing proper oral hygieneavoiding or quitting smoking limiting sun exposure and wearing a lip balm with sunscreen eating a balanced diet that contains a range of nutritional foods
A person should contact their doctor if they are concerned about the appearance of their lips. A doctor can diagnose different types of discoloration affecting the lips. People should also seek medical attention if they experience any of the following symptoms:
irregularly shaped skin lesions a skin lesion that bleeds, grows quickly, does not heal, or is tender to the touch blue skin or lipsdifficulty breathingchest pain
Lip discoloration can occur as a result of a fungal infection, iron deficiency anemia, sun exposure, or an allergic reaction. Treatments for lip discoloration vary depending on the cause. People who notice new or unusual spots on their lips may want to contact their doctor.
difficulty breathingirregular heartbeatpersistent or severe headachenumbness in the limbs dizziness
How can I lighten my dark lips fast?
Other natural remedies – Some people use the following home remedies to lighten darker lips. However, research is needed to explore their effectiveness. Keep this in mind if you try them out:
Coconut oil. Using your fingertip, take a very small amount of coconut oil and gently apply it evenly over your lips. You can do this multiple times during the day and also before you go to sleep at night. Rose water. Mix together two drops of rose water to six drops of honey. Apply this mixture to your lips three to four times per day. You can also apply this mixture before going to bed at night. Olive oil. Before bed, massage a few drops of olive oil onto your lips. Cucumber juice. In a blender, juice half a cucumber. Cool the juice in the refrigerator. Once the juice is cool, dip a cotton ball into it and use the cotton ball to gently apply the juice onto your lips. Leave the cucumber juice on your lips for about 30 minutes, then rinse off with cool water. Strawberry. Make a paste by mixing together five crushed, medium-sized strawberries and 2 teaspoons of baking soda, Gently apply this paste to your lips at bedtime, then rinse off with cool water the next morning. Almond. In a small bowl, blend 1 tablespoon of fresh dairy cream and enough almond powder to make a paste. Massage the paste onto your lips for three to five minutes. Let it dry for about five minutes. Rinse your lips with lukewarm water. Repeat this process daily. Almond oil. Every night before bed, massage a drop or two of almond oil onto your lips. Sugar. Blend together 3 teaspoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of butter. Three times a week, massage this blend onto your lips for three to four minutes. If you like, you can substitute olive oil for the butter. Mustard oil. Once per day, gently massage one to two drops of mustard oil on your lips. Beets. Using a food processor or blender, grind beetroot into a fine paste. Twice a week, apply the beet paste to your lips. Leave in place for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse off. Once your lips are clean and dry, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly,
The lightness or darkness of your lips is often a personal cosmetic preference. There are a number of natural home remedies for lip lightening if you have lip hyperpigmentation. Talk with your doctor before deciding which remedy to choose. They can help ensure the underlying cause of your darker lip pigmentation is also treated.
Is lip pigmentation bad?
Spotted lips – Discolored lips can include spotting, too. The causes of spotted lips range from harmless sunspots to spots that are a symptom of a medical condition. The possible causes include: Sunspots Sunspots are dark spots that develop on parts of the body that get the most sun exposure, such as the face and hands.
These spots can also form on the lips and range in color from beige to dark brown. However, it’s important to have any new lip spots checked because there are other conditions, such as skin cancer, that can look similar. Medications Certain medications can cause dark spots on your lips, such as cytotoxic drugs used to treat cancer, antipsychotic drugs, such as chlorpromazine, and others.
Hemochromatosis Hemochromatosis is a disorder in which the body stores too much iron. It affects over 1 million Americans, Hyperpigmentation of the skin is also a common sign, and some people develop dark gray or brown patches on the skin and lips. Laugier-Hunziker syndrome This is a benign skin condition that involves the oral cavity, mainly the lower lip.
- It causes brown or black macules on the lips that can range from 1 to 5 millimeters in size.
- The condition often causes black lines on the nails, as well.
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome This inherited disorder causes a number of noncancerous growths in the gastrointestinal tract and increases the risk of certain types of cancer.
These spots can affect the lips and mouth, along with the skin around the eyes, nose, hands, and feet. Children with the condition can develop tiny dark spots that may fade with age. Carney complex This is a rare disorder, also called LAMB syndrome, which is characterized by an increased risk of different types of tumors.
- The condition often causes changes in skin pigmentation.
- People with the condition have a higher risk of developing noncancerous tumors in the heart and other parts of the body, including the skin around the eyes and lips.
- Cancer Sometimes, a dark spot on the lip can be a cancerous growth, particularly melanoma.
Spots that are new, have an irregular shape or color, increase in size rapidly, bleed, or have a scar-like appearance are considered suspicious and should be evaluated by a doctor. A sore that doesn’t heal or a growth that appears shiny should also be looked at by a doctor.
laser therapy intense pulse light (IPL) cryotherapy photodynamic therapy surgerytopical medicated agents
Depending on the cause, lip discoloration may be prevented by using at-home skincare solutions. Other tips include:
Quit smoking, Quitting is difficult but possible. Speak with a doctor to come up with a smoking cessation plan that’s right for you.Limit sun exposure and wear a lip balm that contains sunscreen,Protect your face and lips from sun exposure with a wide brimmed hat.
It’s a good idea to see your doctor or dentist for any new discoloration or lesions on your lips. If you or someone else develops blue lips and trouble breathing, call 911 right away. Discolored lips aren’t always a cause for concern, but any changes to the color of your lips or new spots should be evaluated by your doctor to rule out an underlying medical condition.
Do lipsticks cause lip pigmentation?
Can lipstick cause lip darkening? Tips by beauty experts Lipstick is one such that not just elevates the look but also lifts the mood in a jiffy and whether you are a fan of or not, lipsticks are definitely a part of your trousseau. From making our pouts perfect for photos to getting us ready for a party, lipsticks are just unavoidable but everything comes with pros and cons and our favorite lipsticks are not exceptional. Can lipstick cause lip darkening? Tips by beauty experts(Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash) If there is one makeup product that no one can do without, it has to be lipsticks. Lipsticks are the most versatile makeup item to amp up any look as whether it is office look or your best friend’s wedding, lipsticks can turn around any look.
- In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Richa Singh, Consulting Dermatologist in Junoesque Clinic, shared, “Lipsticks can be the hidden cause behind your dark lips.
- Lipsticks can contain a certain amount of chemicals that can cause lip darkening over regular use.
- However, lipsticks which are made of cheap ingredients or dyes present on the lipsticks are not safe on the skin and usually are more harmful to the skin.” She added, “If you have sensitive skin, you might develop allergic reactions from lipsticks which can darken your lips.
Apart from lipsticks, sun exposure, smoking, lack of hydration, and constant licking or biting of lips can lead to dark lips. But you do not have to bid goodbye to your beloved lipstick. You can take care of your lips with tips from experts and get back those pink lips once again.” Here are some effective tips suggested by Dr Richa Singh to take care of dark lips: 1.
- Sunscreen for the lips – Just as you don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your face, you should not miss your lips as well.
- Lips do require protection from the sun.
- The harmful sun rays can damage the health of the lips and make them look dark.
- Apply a lip balm on your lips with a minimum SPF of 20 to protect them from sun exposure.
Make sure to reapply the lip balm after every two hours.2. Be cautious of the ingredients of lipsticks – It’s always safe to use the best quality lip products for your lips to avoid lip darkening. Check the ingredients of the lipsticks before you buy them.
Avoid picking up lipsticks that contain harsh chemicals like magnesium, chromium, etc.3. Do not use expired lipsticks – Lipsticks have a shelf life. So, make sure to check the date before you apply on the lips. Expired lipsticks can further worsen the condition of dark lips.4. Exfoliate your lips – Exfoliation helps to remove the dead skin cells accumulation from the lips.
With regular exfoliation, you can see a visible difference on the color of your lips. Mix two tablespoons of olive oil with one tablespoon of sugar and gently exfoliate the lips until the sugar granules melt away. Follow this method for once a week. According to Arthi Raguram, Founder of Deyga Organics, although lipsticks are not the only source that can damage your lips, they can be one of the reasons.
- She said, “Harsh chemicals used in lipsticks can cause lip darkening.
- Besides, smoking, improper lip care routine, dryness can also be some of the major causes for lip darkening.” Encouraging not to worry about dark lips, she listed some of the best tips to take care of dark lips so that you can flaunt that pout with confidence: 1.
Follow a lip care routine – To have beautiful, soft, and pink lips, you need to put some time to take care of your lips. Exfoliate the lips once a week as it helps to get rid of dead skin cells. Apply a lip balm every time you step out or before bedtime.
Choose hydrating lip balms with ingredients like almond oil, and vitamin E to nourish your lips.2. Lipstick break – Go lipstick free for a few days. It helps your lips to be in their natural state and absorb the lip care properly that you are indulging in. However, always use a lip balm before you put on lipsticks so that it can work as a protective shield for the lips.3.
Do not sleep with your lipstick on – The chemicals present in the lipstick can be damaging to the lips. Hence it is very important to get rid of them at the end of the day and give your lips a chance to breathe. Remove lipsticks with a makeup remover and follow it up with a nourishing lip balm.
- Applying almond oil or olive oil on the lips also help to moisturize them.4.
- Use a lip mask – Lip masks are great to give your lips all the pampering it deserves.
- Apply fresh beetroot paste or rub a beetroot slice on your lips to have naturally pink lips.
- Follow this method twice a week for the best results.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow these easy tips and be pout-ready always. You don’t have to give up on lipsticks if you follow these easy and effective tips by experts for lip darkening. SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON : Can lipstick cause lip darkening? Tips by beauty experts
How can I lighten my lips in 2 days?
Rosewater – Mix two drops of rose water with six drops of honey. Apply this mixture to your lips 3-4 times a day. You can also apply this before going to bed. Canva
Why is my lip color so dark?
Pigmentation can occur in any part of our body, in lips as well. It can be heredity or due to sun rays also melasma or hyperpigmentation can occur. Hormones also can be the cause of dark lips but can affect mostly pregnant ladies.
How can I lighten my smokers lips?
Lip darkening – There are several treatments for hyperpigmentation, They may help return your lips to their natural color. tips to lighten lips
- Exfoliation. Lip skin is delicate and should be treated with care. You can make a DIY exfoliator at home, or use a store-bought brand. Try mixing coarse salt or sugar with almond oil or coconut oil and gently massaging the mixture into your lips once a day. You can also use a soft bristle brush or washcloth dipped in oil to exfoliate. Use a moisturizer or lip balm after each treatment. Shop for almond oil and coconut oil, Lip mask. Anecdotal evidence shows that lip masks containing turmeric, lemon, or lime juice may help lighten lips. Try combining one or more of these ingredients with vitamin A or vitamin E oil, and coat your lips for 15 minutes, once daily. Shop for vitamin E oil, Laser treatment. Done professionally by a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, laser treatments work by focusing concentrated pulses of light deep within the skin’s layers. These treatments can be used to restore lips to their natural color, target dark spots, remove excess melanin, stimulate collagen production, and erase vertical wrinkles around the mouth.