Dark lips are a common problem affecting smokers and tobacco consumers, however, non-smokers also find themselves having dark-colored lips which could be quite embarrassing.
Most people tend to ignore dark-colored lips till it becomes very evident which could lead to extreme self-consciousness and possibly social withdrawal. If you notice black spots or discoloration in your lips, this should send signals immediately and you should get work on the causes and possible remedies for the issue.
In this article, we are going to look at the several causes of dark lips including the remedies for getting lighter lips
- Causes of Dark Lips
- Why Are My Lips Turning Black Even Though I Don’t Smoke?
- How to Lighten Dark Lips
Causes of Dark Lips
There are several causes of lip pigmentation and some of these are as a result of your daily habits while others are as a result of natural causes. However, you can be able to get rid of dark lips through natural remedies no matter the cause.
Smoking is one of the most well-known causes of dark lips. While most smokers turn to the cigarettes to relieve stress and for whatever recreational purpose, there are several health conditions you will have to combat in the future. You will also notice a dark coloration of your lips especially if you are a heavy smoker.
The main ingredient in cigarettes that cause the most damage and the discoloration of lips is nicotine. Nicotine is also the main substance in cigarettes that relieves smokers of stress and gives them the soothing feeling they so desire.
However, this stimulant is quite dangerous as it causes blood vessels to narrow and shrink, thereby reducing blood flow. This, in turn, starves the skin of nutrients and oxygen need to maintain the skin and keep it healthy.
Reduced blood flow can cause the skin pigment, melanin on your lips and gums to darken. The appearance is usually black, purple or dark brown.
Dehydration is a situation where more water and fluids leave the body than enter it. Dehydration is mostly caused by not taking in enough water or losing too much water. It can also be a combination of both.
Dehydration affects the lips in such a way that the lack of adequate water in the diet can leave the lips and skin irrigated, chapped and rough. When such happens the layers of the skin may peel off causing scars, scabs, and changes in the color of the lips.
Deficiency of Vitamins
If you notice an uneven coloration of your lips and you don’t smoke or feel dehydrated, then you might have to take a closer look at your diet and the nutrients you consume.
Vitamins are essential nutrients necessary for the welfare of the body system and a shortage of such vitamins will have diverse effects on your body system.
Vitamin B-12 is one of the vitamins that maintain an even skin tone and a deficiency in these vitamins would lead to the appearance of dark spots or discoloration of the lips.
Chronic sun exposure can have several effects of the skin with skin discolorations being one the prominent effects. Exposure to the UV light from the sun has been cited as one of the major causes of skin cancers which increases the risk associated with sunbathing.
The discoloration caused by the exposure to the sun is evident in every part of the body but the skin of the face and the lips are most harmed.
Sun exposure can also cause areas of hyperpigmentation or Melasma to become more distinct. Melasma is a common and harmless skin condition that results in dark lips and is caused by the excessive disposition of melanin. Melasma usually affects the upper lip.
Some chemical medications can result in discoloration of the skin on several parts of the body including the lips. They can also cause the formation of black spots on the lips.
These medications are either heavy drugs or some key ingredients in skin care products. Examples of such heavy drugs are chemotherapy drugs, antipsychotic drugs, and photosensitizing drugs. Skin lightening agents like Hydroquinone which is a key ingredient in many skin lightening creams can also lead to discoloration of the lips.
Allergies would result in dark spots on the lips but that would depend on what you are allergic to. If you are allergic to products like lipstick or lip balm, face makeup and toothpaste, this can result in discoloration of the lips.
An imbalance of the hormones in the body system can result in dark or black spots on the lips.
The main hormone which would lead to such discoloration is the thyroid hormone. Abnormally low or high levels of thyroid hormone can cause hyperpigmentation to occur on the body, especially the lips.
Lip Care Products
Allergies to lip care products like lipstick or lip balm have already been cited as possible causes of dark spots on the lips.
However, using some lip care products even in the absence of allergies may cause dark lips. This is mostly true for low-quality and inexpensive lip care products which leaves dark tones on the lips after prolonged usage.
Leaving lipstick on your lips at night could cause dark lip regardless of if you make use of expensive or inexpensive lip care products.
Other Causes of Dark Lips
Other causes of dark lips could be dental fixtures, skin lesions like angiokeratoma, venous lake, hereditary conditions like hemochromatosis and the excessive intake of iron.
Why Are My Lips Turning Black Even Though I Don’t Smoke?
While smoking is the well-known reason for dark lips, it is worthy to note that it is not the only reason for discoloration of the lips. Above, are several causes of dark lips and you are likely to find one or two reasons for the discoloration of your lips even though you are a non-smoker.
However, the most common causes of dark lips apart from smoking are dehydration, use of inferior lip care products (especially for women), sun exposure and vitamin deficiency.
How to Lighten Dark Lips
There are different ways and home remedies for getting lighter lips, however, several of these remedies have not been scientifically tested.
These home remedies can get rid of black spots on the lips by making the skin healthier or lightening its color. Other home remedies would be simply changing your habits to increase your intake of the necessary nutrients.
Below are some natural remedies that can get rid of dark lips.
Several studies and testimonies from users have cited lemon as a melanin inhibitor and natural skin bleaching agent.
The procedure is to cut a lemon and rub the juicy part over your lips before going to sleep. Do not rinse your lips until the next morning and rinse only with cool water. This routine is then repeated every night until results are evident, it may take some time (about 30 days) before you start seeing results with this routine.
There are other ways to get rid of dark lips which include mixing lemon with another skin nourishing or lightening agent. Such an agent would be sugar.
The procedure is to take a teaspoon of sugar and mix it with a few drops of lemon. Rub the mixture on your lips and then it washes it off after some minutes.
You can also mix lemon juice with glycerine (a substance known for its moisturizing effects) and apply on your lips. Ensure you mix equal quantities of glycerine and lemon juice before applying it to your lips.
More: Top Lip Primers
Coconut oil is another natural remedy for dark lips and it posses qualities similar to lemon juice. The oil contains essential fatty acids that keep the skin healthy and hydrated. Applying it on your lips will leave your lips soft and healthy pink in a matter of days.
The procedure is to get virgin coconut oil and apply a tiny amount on your lips with the aid of your fingertips. You can apply the coconut oil during the day and before going to bed as well.
Aloe Vera is widely known as a natural remedy for dark lips as it inhibits melanin production leaving the lips lighter and healthier. This is due to the effects of a polyphenolic compound called aloesin present in the gel.
The procedure is to get Aloe Vera gel and apply it to the lips, leave the gel to dry and rinse with lukewarm water. This procedure should be repeated once every day for quick results.
Honey is another natural ingredient that can be used as a remedy for dark lips. The effects of using honey as a remedy for dark lips for a period of time include lighter and softer lips.
The procedure is to apply honey on your lips before going to bed. This procedure should be repeated every day until there is a change in the color of your lips.
Beetroot juice can cleanse the skin and improve the appearance and coloration of your lips. This is due to the presence of antioxidants in the juice.
The procedure is to get red beetroot, cut it into several slices and store in the refrigerator. This is to keep the vegetable fresh for continuous use. Take a slice and rub on your lips for a couple of minutes. Leave the juice to dry and wash off after 20 minutes.
Other Remedies For Getting Lighter Lips
The remedies listed below simply involve doing away with some habits that lead to dark lips.
Smoking is a major cause of dark lips among smokers, however, simply quitting smoking might not be enough to make your lips healthy and pink as they once were, you would have to make use of the natural remedies listed above.
Most of the remedies listed above will help your lips stay hydrated but you can achieve positive results faster if you increase your water intake. Taking enough water might not actually be the solution to dehydration as you would have to balance your water intake and loss to stay hydrated.
Consume Enough Nutrients
The deficiency of several vitamins can lead to discoloration of the lips. The remedy to this could simply be to increase your intake of these vitamins, especially vitamin B-12.
Change Your Lip Care Products
On the part, where the use of lip care products are the reason for the discoloration of your lips, a simple change of the type of lip care products you use would be the best remedy. Cheap lip care products are mostly made with low-quality materials, so it’s best to avoid them.
However, if you are allergic to some lip care products, it is best to avoid them altogether if you can’t figure out the exact ingredient in the lip care products that trigger your allergies.
How To Get Rid Of Black Lips Which Result From Smoking
The first step to getting rid of black lips from smoking would be to quit smoking. You can then try any of the remedies we have listed above. The most popular natural remedies for black lips are lemon juice and coconut oil. Simply follow the procedures listed above and watch out for results in a few days.
When To See A Doctor
Although lip discoloration is not a serious issue, you might want to see your doctor have the black spots diagnosed especially if they appear overnight. The presence of black spots might be a symptom of a disorder, a malfunction in the body system or signal cancer. Fortunately, the chances of such being the case are quite rare, but it is advised you visit your doctor nonetheless.
For those who are born with dark lips, you can also try out the remedies we listed above until you get the one that works for you. It is best to avoid any situation like smoking and sun exposure that would lead to further darkening of your lips and worsening the situation.
It is also advised you focus on natural remedies instead of lip care products which claim they can help you get rid of dark lips. This is due to the fact, that several of these lip care products have adverse side effects which might worsen the situation in the long run or in the event that you stop using the product.