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How To Lighten Your Dark Upper Lip?

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A dark upper lip area is a common problem faced by many people, especially women. Fortunately, advanced treatments for dark upper lip area are readily available, which help regain lost colour and texture, giving you an even tone and complexion. Find out more about the causes and treatments for dark upper lip area right here!

What Are The Causes Of A Dark Upper Lip?

Dark spots or patches on the face, predominantly on the upper lip area, may occur due to several causes, some of which include –

  • Sun Exposure – We often tend to skip an essential skincare habit – applying sunscreen before stepping out. The skin above our lip is quite sensitive, and sun exposure stimulates the increased production of melanin pigment, which leaves us with dark or brown patches.
  • Conventional Hair Removal Methods – Due to the sensitivity of the skin in the upper lip area, waxing may result in the appearance of dark patches. You might also see some discolouration or dark spots over time. Repeated use of razors for shaving the hair in this area can darken skin due to constant friction.
  • Skin Disorders – Melasma is a pigmentation disorder causing dark spots or patches on the face, especially, cheeks, nose and upper lip area. Specific triggers play a significant role like excessive sun exposure, hormonal changes and nutrition. Another skin condition, i.e. acanthosis nigricans can also cause thickening and darkening of the upper lip area. Eczemas and conditions like atopic dermatitis can cause pigmentation in the area above the upper lip. Lip lick dermatitis may cause hyperpigmentation due to repeated lip-licking habit in children and adults. Allergy to lipsticks and lip balms may sometimes extend to the upper lip area and cause discolouration. Sometimes conditions that cause the growth of unwanted thickened hairs like hirsutism can leave the impression of a darker upper lip area.
  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) – Any inflammation or injury occurring in the skin can stimulate the production of melanin in the process of healing. It results in dark spots ranging in colour from brown, black to greyish blue. It primarily affects sun-exposed areas and those with a darker skin tone. Some of the common causes of PIH in the upper lip area are infections like herpes, folliculitis, contact allergic reactions, acne, insect bite, and drug reactions.
  • Smoking – Smoking is another common cause of dark skin in the upper lip area. A regular smoking habit results in the transfer of tar and nicotine on to the lip and the surrounding skin, which leads to discolouration.

Also Read: How To Remove Dark Spots On Face?

Treatments To Lighten Dark Upper Lip Area:

Some of the most popular treatment options available for lightening the pigmentation in the upper lip area include –

  • Chemical Peels – Peels work by controlled exfoliation of the skin and help reduce the melanin content. They are plant-derivatives, and you should use them under the strict supervision of a dermatologist.
  • Laser Treatment – Laser toning is an effective treatment to consider if nothing else works. The heat energy of the laser targets the melanin deposits in your upper lip area and helps reduce pigmentation. Within a few sessions, you can notice significant results. Dermatologists schedule laser toning sessions at an interval of four weeks. Depending on the involvement and extent of pigmentation, the number of sessions may vary. Non-ablative lasers also reduce pigmentation in the upper lip area and have no downtime. Laser toning treatment is not painful and is particularly safe for treating pigmentation in sensitive areas like the upper lip region.
  • OTC Creams – Many over the counter creams and gels are available to lighten the dark skin in the upper lip area. These creams might contain hydroquinone, kojic acid and arbutin, which work as skin lightening agents by reducing the melanin content. They can help fade the discolouration within a few days or months of regular use depending upon the extent of involvement and depth of the pigmentation. You should always follow your doctor’s advice while using topical medications for achieving the best results. Also, the use of high SPF sunblock is essential, along with other topical applications to prevent further pigmentation.

Also Read: How To Find The Best Dermatologist Near You?

Your dermatologist may recommend any modality of treatment based upon your concern, i.e. type, cause and depth of pigmentation and a detailed examination of your skin.

What Is The Cost Of A Dark Upper Lip Area Treatment?

Laser toning treatment for the upper lip region may come for a price range between Rs 4000 and Rs 6000, while chemical peel treatment for the same may cost from Rs 1000 to Rs 3000. OTC medications may involve an expense of Rs 200 to Rs 2000.

The cost of treatment varies from one person to another as it depends on the severity of the condition, underlying cause and modality used.

Please note that the above cost is indicative only and may vary from one clinic to another based on its reputation, location and technology offered. It also is directly related to the experience of the dermatologist treating you. It is advisable to visit a reputed skin clinic and find out the exact cost of treatment.

What Do Specialists Say About Laser Treatment For Lips?

While laser treatments are great to deal with a variety of skin problems, most specialists use it with caution to lighten a dark upper lip whereas it can be safely used to treat the area above the upper lip.

Know More About Laser Skin Whitening Treatment From A Dermatologist:

Tips To Prevent Upper Lip Area From Becoming Dark:

You can also follow the simple tips below to prevent discolouration in the upper lip area.

  1. Avoid sun damage by applying a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more. Also, try to use lip balms which have an SPF rating.
  2. Protect the sensitive upper lip area by using a suitable moisturiser regularly.
  3. Avoid smoking.
  4. Avoid experimenting with home remedies to get rid of the pigmentation since it may irritate the sensitive skin in the upper lip area and worsen the condition.
  5. Avoid using harsh cleansers and rubbing the upper lip area aggressively.
  6. Laser hair reduction using diode, alexandrite or Nd:YAG lasers can help get rid of the unwanted hairs on the upper lip; as it is the safest, effective and most cost-efficient method to get rid of unwanted body hair. It helps prevent untoward pigmentation caused by temporary hair removal techniques.

Also Read: How To Lighten Your Skin Tone Permanently?

Now you know all about the causes and tips to prevent your upper lip area from becoming dark. Take action today!

If you already have discolouration in the upper lip area, consult an experienced dermatologist immediately to find the most suitable treatment!

UPTO 50% Off on All Services
UPTO 50% Off on All Services

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.


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