Last updated: November 16th, 2019
Many women are concerned about the discoloration of their lips. Lip discoloration is actually a pretty serious problem that can occur for a number of reasons. But worst of all, lip discoloration looks pretty gnarly! So, just consider this article to be your ultimate lip discoloration treatment guide which helps you better understand the hyperpigmentations on your lips, and most importantly – cure your lip pigmentations once and for all. Sounds good? Let’s get started…
What is lip discoloration?
Lip discoloration happens when your lips undergo an unnatural change in color. Both women and men experience lip discoloration, although it typically happens to women more frequently. It’s common for lip discoloration to make pink lips darken over time – usually making your lips appear “dirty” or “blotchy”. However, it’s also possible for your lips to “lighten” in color as well.
Either way, if your lips show a change in color for any reason at all, it’s worth addressing the problem immediately.
What causes lip discoloration?
There are various causes of lip discoloration that you should keep in mind, such as…
Lip Discoloration Cause #1. Photodamage (exposure to ultraviolet radiation)
Photodamage (sun damage) is one of the most common causes of lip discoloration that people experience. When people forget to protect their lips with SPF lip balm, it’s really easy to accidentally expose your lips to sun damage. Sun damage to the lips is especially common during warmer months, and in dry climates.
Lip Discoloration Cause #2. Cheilitis (chapped lips)
It’s relatively common for people to experience lip discoloration because of cheilitis (chapped lips). Cheilitis is often associated with anemia (iron deficiency), vitamin B deficiency, and various other conditions.
If you think that your cheilitis is caused by some sort of nutritional deficiency (like an iron deficiency), it’s best to visit with a doctor and have your blood tested. Having extremely pale lips (like ghostly white lips) is typically a sign of anemia. If you also experience weakness, lethargy, or hair loss – these are also signs of anemia. So, please visit with a doctor to get these serious symptoms addressed immediately!
It’s also worth noting that many people experience cheilitis or chapped lips simply because of cold weather. When freezing temperatures and wind becomes a daily occurrence in your town or city, it’s relatively common to experience lip discoloration.
Lip Discoloration Cause #3. Isotretinoin (brand name Accutane)
Many people use isotretinoin or Accutane to combat severe acne.
However, many people who undergo Accutane treatment also complain about extreme cheilitis or chapped lips.
This can obviously lead to lip discoloration and similar lip problems.
Lip Discoloration Cause #4. Lifestyle factors (smoking, drinking, stress)
Smoking is a common cause of lip discoloration. When you smoke cigarettes or hookah, you’re essentially drying out your lips with smoke.
Alcohol is another substance that can dry out your lips and cause damage.
But, stress is perhaps the most harmful lifestyle factor of all. Stress has been known to contribute to all sorts of medical issues, including lip discoloration!
Lip Discoloration Cause #5. Dehydration
Dehydration is a serious problem that can cause your lips to change color.
If you aren’t drinking roughly one gallon of water per day, then you should adjust your water consumption to a healthy range immediately.
Lip Discoloration Cause #6. Bad beauty products
Since this is partially a beauty blog, it’s important to note that some beauty products can absolutely contribute to lip discoloration.
For example, some women don’t respond well to certain lipsticks or glosses that use low-quality ingredients.
So, please pay close attention to the ingredients in your beauty products, and make sure that your skin responds well to all of the ingredients that you put on!
Lip Discoloration Cause #7. Acne or acne scars located along the vermilion border
If you’ve had acne or acne scars along your vermilion border or oral commissures, this could be another factor that contributes to lip discoloration.
Lip Discoloration Cause #8. Bacterial or skin fungal infections (in extreme cases)
While it’s uncommon to experience lip discoloration because of bacterial or skin fungal infections – it can happen.
If you think that bacterial or skin fungal infections might be the cause of your lip discoloration, it’s important for you to speak with a medical doctor as soon as possible.
Lip Discoloration Cause #9. Picking the skin on your lips
Do you frequently pick and pull away bits of dead skin from your lips?
If so, this is a habit that usually leads to problems with lip discoloration.
I know it’s tempting to do this…
But, try your best to refrain from picking your lips, and you might notice an improvement in your discoloration.
What lip discoloration treatments are available?
Depending on the specific cause of your lip discoloration, there are a number of treatment options available…
Lip discoloration treatment: SPF lip balm
Supergoop! Fushion Lip Balm is my favorite “easy” treatment for lip discoloration.
If you think that your lip discoloration is caused by photodamage (sun damage), then you can try using a high-quality SPF lip balm like this one.
This lip balm contains SPF 30 sunscreen, so it will protect your lips against further sun damage. Plus, this lip balm is also a great option if you’re dealing with chapped lips.
Lip discoloration treatment: Vitamin C serum
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum is my top recommendation for vitamin C serum because it contains high-quality ingredients and a light concentration of vitamin C (which is ideal for the delicate skin on your lips).
If your lips have sun damage, you can try applying a light layer of high-quality vitamin C serum to your lips.
Vitamin C serum is known to help repair sun damage. So, by applying a very thin layer of vitamin C serum to your lips, you may be able to reverse sun damage, and repair your lip discoloration.
Alternatively, you can always choose to make your own vitamin C serum at home. This is a budget-friendly option that’s also fun to do!
And of course, at the most basic level, you can just squeeze a lemon, mix with distilled water, and apply this lemon-water concentration to your lips.
You have plenty of options when it comes to using vitamin C to treat lip discoloration.
Lip discoloration treatment: High-quality multivitamin and/or iron supplement
Rainbow Light Women’s One is one of the very best multivitamins available. I highly-recommend using this multivitamin because it’s a food-based multivitamin that should cover just about all of your nutritional bases. This is an extremely convenient way to combat many of the nutritional deficiencies that can lead to cheilitis (chapped lips) and lip discoloration. I’ve also written a full review of Rainbow Light Women’s One that you can check out for more information on this awesome multivitamin.
Rainbow Light Certified Plant-Source Iron is another excellent option to consider if you believe that your lip discoloration is caused by an iron deficiency (anemia).
Of course, you can always just make sure that you’re eating a wide range of vegetables, meats, fruits and legumes. This is perhaps the best way to ensure that you don’t experience a nutritional deficiency.
But at the same time, it’s becoming increasingly common for food in America to lack the proper nutrients. This tends to happen because our soil is being depleted of nutrients, and this causes our food to lack nutrients as well.
So, this is why I ultimately still recommend using high-quality food-based nutritional supplements that help you meet all of your dietary needs!
Lip discoloration treatment: Tweak your lifestyle and habits
If you think that your lifestyle and habits may be the underlying cause of your lip discoloration, then you’ll probably want to make some changes to your daily routine.
For example, one of the easiest changes that you can make involves cutting back on smoking and alcohol consumption. You have total control over these two lifestyle factors. If you currently smoke, then you can try using nicotine lozenges as a safer form of nicotine replacement. If you currently drink quite a bit, then you can try drinking non-alcoholic drinks that still leave you feeling good!
Stress is a lot harder to deal with, because everyone is at least a little bit stressed out in modern society. But, you can still get massages, take more spa days, and eat healthy foods to combat the stress in your life.
You can also drink more water, and be more careful about the types of beauty products that you use on your lips.
Tweaking your lifestyle and habits isn’t easy. But, it can absolutely be an important treatment option in the fight against lip discoloration.
Lip discoloration treatment: Visit with a medical professional
At the end of the day, it’s still worth chatting with a medical professional about the problems related to your lip discoloration.
You can visit with your general practitioner (GP) first, and she or he may refer you to a specialist.
It’s better to be safe than sorry!
Overall, I genuinely hope that this article helps you discover the underlying cause of your lip discoloration, and most importantly, allows you to treat your lip discoloration issues as soon as possible.
No one wants to deal with lip discoloration. But, life happens, and lips can look weird for a number of wacky reasons!
So, take great care of your lips today, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of having glamorous lips tomorrow.
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