Hyperpigmentation around the mouth is very common and it can make people self-conscious about their appearance. Most of us try to cover the dark skin around the mouth with makeup. However, you don’t need to cover it up anymore because we have the solution for you. Fortunately, there are many effective ways to treat dark pigmentation around the lips. Let’s dive in and look at some of them in more detail in this article from The Dermo Lab in collaboration with the dermatologist Dr. Dalia El Shazly.
What causes dark pigmentation around the lips?
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for black pigmentation around the lips:
1- Prolonged sun exposure
Your skin color is determined by a pigment called melanin. Prolonged exposure to the sun causes your body to produce more melanin to provide overall skin protection. This excessive release of melanin is the cause of this hyperpigmentation.
2- Spread of melasma
A common form of hyperpigmentation, melasma usually appears on larger areas of skin and the face is one of the most common areas where it can be spotted. Melasma is usually due to hormonal changes and is therefore most often seen in pregnant women.
3- Certain medications
Some forms of medication used can also trigger hyperpigmentation as a side effect. This varies from one skin type to another. Therefore, it is best to consult your dermatologist when you notice skin discoloration due to medication.
4- Other skin conditions
Certain skin conditions such as hemochromatosis and Addison’s disease can also cause pigmentation. Addison’s disease causes changes in other parts of the body and has a significant impact on the adrenal glands. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes increased iron production in the body, resulting in irregular skin.
Nicotine and benzopyrene in tobacco smoke can promote the creation of melanin in the skin. Exposure to nicotine causes melanocytes to enlarge and produce more melanin.
Smoking can also damage elastin and collagen, the two most important proteins responsible for the structure and elasticity of your skin.
6- Vitamin deficiencies
Changes in skin pigmentation can also be associated with vitamin deficiencies, especially vitamin B12 and vitamin D.
Who is more likely to have discoloration around the mouth?
According to Dr. Dalia El Shazly, darker-skinned people are more prone to hyperpigmentation overall because they have a higher rate of melanin production than lighter-skinned people.
With age, you may see more spots on the face, chest, and other areas most exposed to UV rays. The risk of skin discoloration around the mouth from the sun is higher if you don’t wear sunscreen in that area.
You may notice that discoloration spots around the mouth are more prominent during the summer months. This is likely due to more sun exposure, which can stimulate more melanin and make the hyperpigmentation more visible.
Keep reading to learn how to lighten pigmentation around the lips.
How to reduce pigmentation around the lips?
Knowing the causes of your skin’s darkening makes it much easier to treat hyperpigmentation.
1- Medically prescribed ointments
A dermatologist can examine you and prescribe the ointment that will be most effective in reducing dark spots around the mouth. It may contain hydroquinone, as this medication lowers the production of tyrosinase and limits the cells that create pigment, which helps fade brown spots.
2- Skin brightening creams
There are many skin lightening and brightening creams that can effectively reduce the darkening of the area around the mouth. According to Dr. Dalia El Shazly, you should look for ingredients such as vitamin C, azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, hydroquinone, and retinoids.
Caution: People with sensitive skin should not use hydroquinone or kojic acid products unless advised by a dermatologist.
The application of a brightening cream can also enrich damaged skin and help even out your skin tone.
Here are two creams that, in addition to moisturizing damaged skin, lighten dark spots and improve the texture of your skin. They contain active depigmenting ingredients that are ideal for reducing and unifying your complexion.
Ducray Melascreen Depigmenting Intensive Care
Ducray Melascreen Eclat Light Cream SPF15
Let’s face it, sunscreen is still the key to healthy, beautiful skin. Wearing sunscreen not only reduces dark spots but also protects your skin from harmful UV rays that could affect the rest of your body. The sun’s rays darken the spots that have already formed around the mouth, which can be avoided by generously applying sunscreen.
According to Dr. Dalia El Shazly, hyperpigmentation can disappear on its own, depending on its cause, but it can take a long time to fade.
We recommend you try the following sunscreen that may best suit you and help correct existing dark spots.
Ducray Melascreen UV Light Cream SPF50+
By regularly exfoliating the area around your mouth with a gentle exfoliator, you can lighten the darkened area and get rid of dead skin. You can also opt for a chemical exfoliator. Exfoliate your skin once every 2-3 weeks or once a month. Remember to never use two exfoliants at the same time.
4- Laser treatments
Another effective way to lighten the dark area around the mouth is to try laser treatments. It won’t erase it permanently, but it can lighten the pigmentation. Genetics, sun exposure, and skin care habits also determine the type of results that can be achieved with laser treatments.
One such treatment that can help treat pigmentation is the Fraxel laser treatment. This is a non-invasive microscopic laser that promotes collagen regeneration and elastin growth. It also helps to restore skin tone and reduce dark spots.
Can pigmentation around the mouth be prevented?
According to the root cause, you can help prevent dark spots around the mouth by:
- Modifying your medications, if recommended by a doctor
- Wearing a sunscreen containing iron oxide every day, which can prevent hyperpigmentation or melasma caused by exposure to visible light
- Avoiding tanning beds and peak sunlight hours (late morning to early afternoon)
- Wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect the face
- Addressing any underlying nutritional deficiencies that have been diagnosed.
Pigmentation around the mouth can result from a variety of factors. From melasma during pregnancy to sun exposure and medication side effects, there’s a lot to learn. The good news is that this condition is treatable and the dark areas can be completely removed. Take the time to learn about your skin type and be patient with treatment. Getting rid of pigmented skin completely will take a long time. Thus, protect your skin from further damage by practicing good skin care habits.