Know the Various Causes of Dark Spots on the Lips

Dark patches on the lips are not only disturbing appearance, but can also be caused by certain health problems. Therefore, it is important to know the cause of the appearance of black spots so that appropriate treatment can be carried out.

Skin health reflects the health of the body as a whole, including the skin of the lips. Unlike the rest of the skin, the lips are only composed of 3-5 layers. This makes the skin of the lips thinner, smoother, and more sensitive.

Lip skin is more prone to dryness and discoloration. However, if the discoloration experienced in the form of black spots or black spots, this condition needs to be watched out for.

Various Causes of Dark Spots on the Lips

There are several possible causes of dark patches on the lips, including:

1. Angiokeratoma fordyce (fordyce spots)

The dark patches that appear as a result of this condition are caused by the dilation of blood vessels near the surface of the skin. Not only black, the spots also have a surface that feels thick and hard.

In general, fordyce spots It is harmless and is usually more common in the elderly.

2. Melasma

Melasma is a pigmentation disorder that causes dark patches to appear on the skin, especially on the face, including the lips. This condition occurs because melanocytes produce more melanin or dark pigment due to sun exposure.

Melasma can also occur due to increased hormone production, for example during pregnancy.

3. Exposure to UV rays

If the dark patches on the lips feel scaly or crusty, this may be due to actinic keratoses, also known as solar keratosis. As the name implies, this condition occurs when the skin is exposed to UV rays too often.

Actinic keratoses are characterized by black or brown patches that feel rough and dry. In addition, the skin also feels itchy, sore, or hardened. This condition is more at risk for people aged 40 years and over and those with light skin.

4. Allergic reactions

Dark patches can also appear as an allergic reaction. This condition is generally caused by the use of harsh chemical lipsticks or lip balms or consuming foods and beverages with high nickel content.

In addition to black patches on the lips, sufferers can also experience a burning sensation and swelling of the lips.

5. Excess iron

Dark patches on the lips can be a sign of iron overload. In this condition called hemochromatosis, the body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat and stores it in the body. This can cause symptoms such as discoloration of the skin, including in the lip area.

Your body can also experience iron overload if you have too many blood transfusions, receive iron injections, and take too many iron supplements.

6. Smoking habit

When smoking, the heat from cigarettes can directly burn the skin on the lips. If this habit is not stopped immediately, not only black spots on the lips that you can experience, but also the lips become black as a whole.

7. Dangerous disease

In addition to the various causes above, dark patches on the lips can also be a symptom of certain diseases, such as:

  • Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by lumps in the digestive tract
  • Laugier-Hunziker syndrome, characterized by benign tumors that grow in the oral cavity
  • The most common skin cancers on the lips are melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Recognize the various things to watch out for

Dark patches on the lips are generally harmless. However, you should consult a doctor if the black spots that appear are accompanied by the following signs and symptoms:

  • The size is growing fast
  • Redness, pain, or bleeding
  • Feel itchy
  • Irregular shape
  • Unusual color combination

Some of these characteristics can lead to cancer. Therefore, it is recommended that you see a doctor. The sooner it is detected, the higher the chance for recovery.

Treatment for dark patches on the lips depends on the cause. Several types of treatment that can be done are laser therapy, intense pulse light (IPL), photodynamic therapy, cryotherapy, surgery, and prescription topical medications.

So that the lips do not darken or black spots appear, there are several efforts that can be done, such as limiting sun exposure by wearing a wide-brimmed hat and using lip balm that contains sunscreen.

Also stop smoking, because in addition to increasing the risk of dark spots on the lips, this habit also makes the skin experience premature aging.

The appearance of dark patches on the lips does look mild and generally harmless. However, you are advised not to be careless and still consult a doctor if you experience this condition so that appropriate treatment can be carried out.