Causes of Lip Pigmentation

Why do we get Lip Hyperpigmentation?

Lip pigmentation can be caused by:

  • UV damage,
  • chemical burns from acid peels or "home remedies" like lemon juice,
  • hot drinks burning the upper lips,
  • lip inflammation,
  • cigarette smoking or
  • an allergic reaction to cosmetics.

Inflammation takes place that triggers the sensitive melanocytes in skin of colour. Melanocytes over produce melanin and lead to a darkening of the lips. "Your natural lip colour is the colour you are born with, darkening happens with micro injury and inflammation over time" Dr Vanita Rattan

COMMON MISTAKES for treating Lip Pigmentation in skin of colour:

  • Lip Scrubs: Will remove the top layer of dead pigmented skin but the skin grows back and pigmentation returns
  • Honey- this will cause you to lick your lips and introduce more amylase onto the skin which will irritate the lip skin and further exacerbate lip pigmentation
  • Lemon juice- has a pH of 2 which is far too acidic for our skin which has a pH of 5.5. This can burn the skin and lead to more pigmentation
  • Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 2.5 which can also burn lips and lead to post inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.

None of the above are suitable for skin of colour and this is an issue seen mainly in Asian and African origin populations.

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