Brown spots on lips is a relatively common lip discoloration. This condition can occur in people of all ages for various reasons. For instance, in most cases, the discoloration may be due to sun exposure. Alternatively, aging among the older populations can result in their and other parts of the body including the face, hands, under eyes and so on.
Why do you have these spots on your lips?
It is common for brown spots to develop of the lips due to sun exposure. The harsh UV rays of the sun penetrate the skin causing damage to the cells. As a consequence, you notice age spots or brown to dark spots appearing. The picture below will illustrate them.
Aging skin is also susceptible to brown spots due to a deterioration in elastin and the protein collagen. As you age, the prolonged exposure to UV rays coupled with the deterioration of the skin leads to age spots (which will have this color).
Although pregnancy in itself does not trigger them, the hormonal imbalances make the woman susceptible to developing this discoloration. Similarly, hormonal changes in teenagers is another factor that can contribute to the lip discoloration.
Note: It is difficult to distinguish between benign brown spots on lips and discoloration resulting from an underlying medical condition. Therefore, you should get a diagnosis from your doctor to make sure that there is no underlying condition triggering the discoloration.
Other factors that can cause them include:
- Smoking: Smoking can harm the skin on your lips in two ways. First, regular smoking disrupts oxygen intake in the skin leading to cell death. Also, you may accidentally burn your lips thus triggering brown spots.
- Allergies: The brown spots may be an allergic reaction to a certain lipstick or cosmetic applied to your face. Alternatively, intake of nickel foods such as green tea may trigger an allergic reaction leading to brown spots.
- Vitamin B or C Deficiency: A deficiency in vitamin B and C can lead to dermatologic disorders such as spots that are brown in color. It is important to note that frequent intake of alcohol impairs vitamin B absorption. As a result, it is common to them if you are a chronic alcoholic.
- Fordyce Spots: The appearance of dark or brown spots on lips can also be due to a condition is known as angiokeratoma of Fordyce. This condition is common among older populations. angiokeratoma of Fordyce affects the capillaries leading to the appearance of multiple lesions in various parts of the body. It also leads to the appearance of Fordyce spots on the lips. These spots can be white but at times dark or brown colored.
- Cancer: The appearance of brown patches can be an indication of skin cancer. It is estimated that about 3500 cases of skin cancer are manifested on the skin annually. One factor that is commonly overlooked is that skin cancer can result from frequent exposure to UV light. According to org, the lips are a common site for non-melanoma skin cancers.
- Hyperpigmentation: This condition can be caused by several factors, including skin injury, genetics, and hormones. The over-production of melanin results in the appearance of brown patches on the lips, and other parts of the body.
This discoloration is an indication that something is wrong. The spots could either mean that your skin is dehydrated or could also be due to frequent exposure to the sun, or aging. Aside from the causes already covered, it is important to note that certain medications can trigger their appearance. For instance, cytotoxic drugs, anti-malarial, and anticonvulsants are all medications that are likely to have lip discoloration as a side-effect.
Dental fixtures such as braces or dentures can lead to post-inflammatory discoloration. Lastly, High iron levels in the body can also cause the discoloration.
Brown spots on lip treatment
It is advisable to consult your dermatologist to help determine the underlying cause of the brown spots on lips. If they are simply age spots or as a result of sunburn, then their treatment options that you can try out. These treatment options include:
- Laser Therapy
- Chemical Peel
- Topical Creams such as retinoid/Retin-A, hydrocortisone cream.
There are a wide arrays of home remedies to try out as an alternative treatment option. Consider gently brushing the lips using a toothbrush at least twice a day. This will help with exfoliation by removing the dead skin cells and promoting a new layer of skin.
After this, you can apply a dab of apple cider vinegar, almond oil, coconut oil, or olive oil on the lips. Alternatively, you can try beetroot juice, Pomegranate or rose water mixed with glycerin. Try out any one of these remedies for at least twice a day to see if there will be any changes.
The best way to protect your lips is to apply sunscreen. Invest in a lip balm with a broad SPF. Also, avoid wearing high-gloss/shine lipstick or balm out in the sun. If you suspect that the condition is due to a vitamin deficiency, then consider getting supplements to boost your health. Remember to stay hydrated to promote skin rejuvenation.
Also, it is best to consider avoiding habits such as licking your lips, smoking, or too much alcohol intake.