Discoloration spots on lips are annoying and can lower your self-esteem. They are rare but in case they show up it’s usually just for a short time.
Some spots could, however, take long or fail to completely go away, which can indicate the presence of a serious underlying condition or skin damage. Common causes in babies and adults would include:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Blood blisters
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sexually transmitted infections
Here is more on the causes, pictures, symptoms, treatment and how to get rid of the spots at home.
What causes black spots on lips?
Black spots on lips are a condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. The following are some common causes you should have in mind in case you have this condition;
The dark spots on your lips could be a sign of mouth cancer, although it’s a very rare case. Lip cancers are the growth of abnormal cells on the lips that form lesions or tumors on the lips.
This condition is characterized by thin, flat cells called squamous cells, which line the lips, mouth, tongue, hard and soft palates. It normally affects the lower lip and you will likely notice lumps too.
This condition is caused by certain lifestyle choices such as excessive smoking and drinking, sun exposure, and tanning.
Some other common signs and symptoms of this condition include;
- Bleeding or pain on the lips
- A red or white patch on the lip
- A sore, lesion, blister, or ulcer on the mouth that won’t go away
- Swelling of the jaw
If you suffer any of the above symptoms, you should have a doctor check you, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have oral cancer.
A biopsy can confirm the diagnosis. This procedure is conducted through taking a small sample of the abnormal area, which is taken and reviewed in a pathology laboratory under a microscope. Some of the common treatments for this condition include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
You may develop black spots on your lips from sexually transmitted infections like syphilis, HIV, and genital herpes.
Syphilis- this is a sexually transmitted infection that exists in several stages and may cause serious health problems. It can cause small painless sores on the lips, in the mouth, and in the vagina, penis, or anus. This infection can be treated by taking a course of antibiotic tablets or an injection of antibiotics.
Genital herpes- herpes simplex virus type 1 or 2 is the virus responsible for cold sores on your lips. This condition is a highly contagious infection that is spread through sexual activities like kissing, body contact with the sores, and oral or anal sex.
Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is responsible for staining not only your mouth but also your teeth. It is responsible for the dark spots at the level of lips. If you smoke, don’t do it too excessively.
4. Vitamin B deficiency
Lack of sufficient vitamin B in your body can cause black spots on your lips and tongue. This vitamin plays a major role in boosting energy levels and production of red blood cells.
Deficiency of this vitamin leads to various conditions and complications. These vitamins are available in the foods we eat and therefore you can take them or supplements to help fix the problem. The levels in the body can, however, be destroyed through consumption of excessive alcohol.
Dehydration is the lack of sufficient water in your body. This condition causes dryness of skin, which include lips and cheeks.
This condition is very common and may result in dark spots around the lips. You can hydrate your body by ensuring that you take plenty of water, which should be at least 3 liters per day. You can also eat a lot of vegetables and fruits that help boost water levels in your body. They will make your cheeks and lips stay moisturized.
6. Expired lip products
You may get dark marks on your lips from applying a lip product whose expiry date is already due. Such products not only pose the risk of dark spots on lips but also other potential health issues. You should, therefore, refrain from using such products.
7. Hormonal disorder
Hormonal disorders can bring many body complications, which can affect both the skin and the general health of your body. This condition can result to dry lips, which are a common symptom of thyroid inconsistency.
Thyroid inconsistency is a condition caused by thyroid hormones that affect the sexual function, mood and food metabolism. This could happen when the thyroid generates a vast amount of hormones, and the body uses its energy faster than it does normally.
8. Dry lips
Lips may dry as a result of several underlying health conditions except for just dehydration. This condition leads to breaking or bleeding of the skin; when this stops, the blood clots and appears as black spots on the lips.
9. Sun rays
Overexposure to sun rays creates melanin pigments on the skin that could appear black after a certain period of time.
You should, therefore, ensure that you protect your lips from too much sunburn. You can also avoid exposing yourself to the sun, especially when it’s too hot. You should also consider using sunscreen products for lips.
Dark spots on baby’s lips
Babies may develop black spots, especially on their upper lip. This could be caused by the pressure effort during breastfeeding. This condition is quite normal and the spots usually fade quite rapidly. Sometimes babies may develop birthmarks that appear on the lips at about 4 weeks of age.
Melisma is a condition that causes hyperpigmentation in babies. This condition causes black or brown patches on the skin. These patches usually appear on the cheeks, nose and upper lip. It is caused by an increased amount of melanin. Though the exact cause of the increase is unknown, it is believed to be associated with hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, or genetic predisposition.
Are you wondering how black spots on your lips look like? These spots appear inside and around the mouth. They have various appearances depending on the underlying cause.
This article provides you several pictures that will help you understand the differences between different causes of black spots.
Black spots on inside of lips
What could be the reason for black spots inside of lips? This condition can be caused by various reasons including trauma, cigarette smoking, hormonal imbalances, excessive iron, irritation from foods or drinks, or deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals.
1. Blood blisters
The black spots may also be as a result of blood blisters after lip piercing. Such blisters can develop inside the lip near the piercing site after lip piercing. They piercing turns black as a result of an infection caused by the numerous bacteria or the other pathogenic microorganisms that are available in the mouth.
You may also suffer such infections as a result of poor oral hygiene after lip piercing. Such piercing is characterized by symptoms such as swelling, redness, irritation, inflammation, and presence of yellow or green discharge from the affected area. To avoid such symptoms, it is important that you follow the aftercare instructions provided to prevent infections.
2. Excessive smoking or drinking alcohol
Black spots inside your lips can be caused by excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking. For instance, tobacco contains harmful chemicals that increase your chances of getting oral cancer.
It also leads to dark blood blisters on the lower lip when exposed to the mucous membrane of the lower lip. Using smokeless tobacco also increases chances of developing lip cancer.
Excessive drinking causes dehydration, which in turn causes dry lips. Dryness of lips is one of the causes of dark spots on lips. It is important to visit a doctor for diagnosis if you experience such symptoms. The treatment required will require you to undergo surgery to remove the affected tissues, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.
3. Angina bullosa hemorrhage
This condition causes dark blood blisters on the mucous membrane of the lips and other oral cavities. Though there is no exact known cause for this condition, it is believed to be caused by mouth injuries or trauma that could result from biting, irritation, scalding among other conditions.
4. Oral melanotic macule
This is a benign dark spot found on inside lips or mouth. An oral melanotic macule found on the lip is commonly known as labial melanotic macule. The most common location for this condition includes;
- Lips, especially the lower lip
- Inner cheek
- Gums and roof of the mouth
This condition can affect people of any age or any sex. It is however common in middle-aged people, in dark-skinned people, and in females. This condition will need a proper diagnosis in order to be confirmed. Usually, the doctor will observe the lesion by measuring it, taking a photograph, or doing both.
When around lips
Common benign lesions outside of the lips include rashes caused by conditions such as; warts, contact dermatitis, lichen planus, Fordyce spots, chapped lips, herpes simplex virus, hyperpigmentation, and milia.
Hyperpigmentation- pigmentation is the coloring of a person’s skin and it is the normal coloring of the skin. In case you suffer from an injury, your skin may change color and become darker. This is called hyperpigmentation and it can affect anyone, from children to adults. The disorder is largely not harmful but it is important to know the risks it poses and where it comes from.
This condition is caused by excess production of melanin. It, however, stimulated chemically by effects of medication, sun rays, and increasing melanin, which leads to darker skin. The following is how each of the factors may affect your pigmentation;
- Sun rays- overexposure to sunlight may cause hyperpigmentation, especially in children. This will darken the already dark areas. To avoid this effect, you should limit the exposure of the sun, or at least apply sunscreen on your body.
- Drugs– hyperpigmentation can be caused by some medications, which include some antibiotics, antiarrhythmic, and antimalarial medication. You should consult your doctor to find out the kind of medications that are putting you at a high risk. You should then opt for an alternative option that has no such side effects.
- Melasma- this is a condition caused by hyperpigmentation that is characterized by dark or brown patches around the lips or on the face. Some major factors for developing this condition include genes. It is also common in women during their productive years, but can also occur in men. Some factors include; Taking birth control pills, Having a darker skin tone and Use of products that irritate the skin, such as cosmetics
The dark patches from this condition are neither painful nor itchy. It can be treated but the best treatment can be difficult.
How to remove black spots on lips
Can you remove dark marks on lips quickly? It is very possible. The following procedures can help remove black spots around your lips fast and completely.
Laser treatments are considered most lasting and more effective ways to treat discolorations close to the surface of the skin.
The effect of this treatment will depend on your genetics, your UV exposure, and your skin care habits. For instance, it can cause some risks such as scarring.
This is required when the black spots turn out to be cancerous. The doctor will recommend excision of the neoplastic growth, followed by the chemotherapy or radiotherapy procedure. This ensures that no more cancerous cells remain in the affected area.
How to get rid of dark lip spots permanently
Black spots on lips occur as a result of a variety of reasons. This condition can be a very annoying and that’s why many people will need to get rid of it as quickly as possible. The following are the common home remedies you should consider for eradicating such spots.
1. Lemon juice
Lemon juice has great bleaching properties. It’s bleaching qualities help remove black spots from the lips. The following is how you go about it;
- Apply some lemon juice on the black spots on your lips
- Massage your lips gently for 2 to 3 minutes
- Repeat this every night before going to bed for 2 months- this helps reduce or get rid of the spots
2. Mustard oil
Mustard oil is known for its rich source of omega alpha3 and omega alpha6 fatty acids, vitamin E and antioxidants. This oil also helps in improving circulation around the lips and thus lightens them altogether.
How to use mustard oil to remove dark patches on the lips;
- Apply 1 or 2 drops of mustard oil on your lips
- Leave it for 10 minutes
- Use a cotton ball to wipe your lips
- Repeat this every night before going to sleep for several weeks
3. Healthy diet
The habit of taking a healthy diet is vital for maintaining good health and also for taking care of the skin. The following are common tips on healthy diet you should have in mind;
- Avoid eating or drinking hot foods or beverages- they can aggravate your existent black spots
- You should avoid tea or coffee- these products can exacerbate the spots on the lips
- Ensure your diet has the required vitamins, for instance, vitamin C and vitamin A
Turmeric contains some bleaching properties that play a major role in eradicating black spots on lips. The following is the procedure of applying this remedy;
- Mix 2 tablespoons of gram flour, ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, and a cup of yogurt to prepare a paste
- Spread the paste onto the affected area
- Leave it on for 30 minutes, and then rinse it off with warm water
- Repeat this daily for several days- the black spots will start fading away
5. Oatmeal scrub
Oatmeal is a great remedy for exfoliating skin with black spots and that is why it is a highly preferred remedy for applying in this condition.
- Prepare a scrub with 1 tablespoon of oatmeal, 1 teaspoon of tomato juice, and 1 teaspoon of yogurt
- Stir the mixture for it to mix well
- Rub the scrub gently on the affected area for 3 to 5 minutes
- Rinse it off after 15 minutes
6. Exfoliate your lips using honey and sugar
To clear the dark pigmentation on your lips, you can apply a simple sugar scrub. The following is how to do it;
- Add granules of sugar with enough honey to prepare a sugar scrub paste
- Take some of the paste and rub gently on your lips
- Do this for around 2 minutes, and then wipe the surface of the lips with a damp piece of cloth
- Apply a soothing lip balm
- Repeat this procedure twice per week for you to get good results.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen, a compound that helps your body grow newer tissues. You should eat foods rich in vitamin C or supplements, especially if you are a smoker. If your lips are dark, vitamin C is an effective remedy for acquiring a bright color. You should ensure that you include this vitamin in every meal if you want to rapidly remove black spots on your lips.
Beetroot can be used to get rid of black spots on lips. This is because it contains bleaching properties just like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. You can use this product in 2 ways;
Massage your lips with beetroot juice gently for 3 minutes or rub your lips with a slice of beetroot. This is done in the morning or at night. Apply this remedy daily for two months and you will be free of dark lips.
In case your black spots don’t fade away from home remedies, there are some other techniques you can employ to completely eradicate them. The following are some of the procedures you should consider;
Over-the-counter brightening cream for lips can be used to moisturize and brighten the black spots on your lips. You should choose a cream that contains vitamin c, kojic acid, licorice extract, or grape seed extract; these ingredients help to block the enzyme tyrosinase, which is essential for the production of melanin. This cream is spread around your mouth while following the instructions given to you by your physician.
Hydroquinone in some creams also helps in limiting pigment-making cells that slow your skin’s production of tyrosinase. The black spots tend to vanish quickly with lower pigment production.
Apply lip balm to moisturize your lips
Lip balms help moisturize your lips and also keep them soft. It also helps remove black spots faster. This product can be used especially on a sunny day. This should be applied after every two hours and helps fix the problem quickly.
You should ensure there is necessary moisture for the lips- this is important especially in the winter season when the weather is extremely dry.