Reasons for black lips of persons are twofold – One is that they are dark right from birth and Second is that lips get dark by other causes like lots of sun exposure, smoking, lip dryness, lip licking, excessive tea or coffee, etc. You can be relieved from this by proper and right lip care.

The cause for discoloration of lips is critical to determine the ways to lighten up your dark lips. Once the causes of dark and black lips are found, it is very easy to treat your lips.

All know that lovely lips make a person all the more beautiful, and so every woman wants to have pinkish, tender and beautiful lips. This beauty also gives you the confidence to go out and be among your friends and others. However, different people have different reasons for getting dark lips. In this article, I will enumerate some causes of dark lips i.e. discoloration of dry upper (top) and lower lip.

17 Reasons of Dark Lips

Do you know the reasons of dry, discolored lips? Get ready to know the ones you don’t know. There may be numerous reasons for Dark Lips. Below we explain the most common 17 causes of dark lips. This is to assist you to find a solution to your dark lips.

Let’s sit back and read what causes dark lips.

1. Lack of moisture (Dry lips)

Lips look the most stunning when they are hydrated naturally. The lip skin is always exposed which leads to natural loss of moisture when there is inclement weather or some other reason. The effect of dryness is more for smokers and mouth breathers. The same is true or those who lick lips. The cold and windy weather are another reason for dry lips. The dryness leads to chapped or cracked lips. Chapped lips cause like pregnancy, dehydration or some deficiency result in lip damage which ultimately darkens your lips. You can use “100% Natural Lip Balm Beeswax from Burt’s Bees”. It is a top selling lip balm for moisturizing the lips.

2. Habits and way of living

Your way of life too can give a dark hue to your lips. Lip discoloration can easily be caused by alcohol, smoking, regular use of narcotics, etc. Thus drugs give black lips. Smoker’s Melanosis is a phenomenon in which lips and inner lining of the mouth become dark. The home brewed substances and illicit alcohol which contains acidic substances can give your lips black spots. Dehydration is caused by lack of enough water. Dehydration first targets sensitive skin of face, lips, etc. The final mark of dehydration is leaving darkness on your lips.

You should read the New York Times Bestseller Listed Book “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business”. The book explains the process to get away from bad habits and inculcate healthy habits that lead to successful life, family, and business.

3. Cosmetics and Lip Products


Credit: Lip balm from Tony Moly – in affiliation to Amazon

To make their lips look lovely and attractive, women generally apply cosmetics and makeup on lips. This lip product sometimes can be the reason for darkness of your lips. The low quality and inferior products are typically laden with chemicals that are harmful to sensitive skin like lips. Even the prolonged use of lipsticks leads to darker tones on lips. Other way is to use expired cosmetic product which again harm your lips. It is important to remove makeup from your lips at night time before sleeping as the non-removal can gradually lead to darkening and blackening of lips.

4. Hyperpigmentation or Melasma

Excessive deposition of Melanin on skin leads to hyperpigmentation which is also called Melasma. Melanin is produced due to excessive exposure to the sun. The most prominently affected areas are open skins of your body like face lips, neck, hands, etc. Melanin is what causes dark spots on neck. Skin especially face darkening, blackening and discoloration causes includes melanin as face being the most exposed part and that too for long, is affected the most by it. Generally Melasma causes darker upper lips. Hyperpigmentation leads to symmetrical dark patches. There is however no rashes or itching. To protect yourself from sunburn and dry and discoloration of lip skin it’s best to use sunscreen products.

5. Exposure to the sun

Chronic sun exposure is another important cause of upper and lower lip dark pigmentation and discoloration. The continuous exposure to the sun can burn your skin as well as lips. However the more prominent effect is that of lip darkening. The UV rays are known to cause melanin deposition irregularly on various parts of the body is one of the primary dark and black skin causes. The lips and the face is the most affected. To make your lips fairer it is best to avoid exposure to the sun. Before going out in the sun, it is best to apply “Kiss My Face Sport Lip Balm SPF 30 sunscreen”. It is a top-selling sunscreen for lips.

6. Anaemia

Anaemia is caused by deficiency of Iron in body. This is also a reason for lip discoloration. Anaemia occurrence can occur during pregnancy too. However any type of Anaemia can cause lip discoloration. Anaemia is seen when Haemoglobin (oxygen-carrying compound in blood) is less than the average levels. This haemoglobin is the reason that the blood is red. So its deficiency inadvertently leads to lip discoloration. Anaemia causes blue lips or blue mark / spot on lips in adults and is prominent during pregnancy of women having anemia The discoloration can becomes more acute during cold weather. Thus, your lips look black for all the above reasons.

7. Irregular and Questionable Eating Habits

Shortage or deficiency of nutritional food stuffs can lead to eating disorders. The problems caused by these diseases are many like anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Bulimia includes corrosive action of your stomach acid ad also repetitive vomiting. This can lead to long term lip damage. So it is not unusual to get a discoloured lip. It is also seen that not many consume enough water, fruits and vegetables which help maintaining the skin clean, glowing and fresh.

The book “It Starts With Food: Discover the Whole30 and Change Your Life in Unexpected Ways” is a good read. This book guides to healthy habits of eating and that too within 30 days. This also helps reducing symptoms of many diseases.

8. Lentigo

Lentigo generally affects the sensitive skin like that that of lips and face. The lips’ disease symptoms involve dark brown to black and dark spots on upper and lower (bottom) lips and in your mouth. Both, systemic diseases (e.g. Peutz-Jeghers syndrome) or chronic exposure to sun can cause Lentigo i.e. brown patches on lips.

9. Medicines

Hyperpigmentation or discoloration of skin can also be caused by different types of medications. It can affect skin of neck, lips, chin, etc. A prominent effect is seen on lips. Some medications that lead to this are as follows –

  • Isotretinoin, acitretin, etc. are photosensitizing drugs that are administered for treating other skin disorders
  • Imipramine, desipramine, etc. are tricyclic antidepressants
  • High power antibiotics like tetracyclines (minocycline) can lead to discoloration of lips
  • Specific psychiatric conditions need antipsychotic drugs
  • Cancer treating Chemotherapy drugs
  • Vomiting and nausea treatment drugs like phenothiazines
  • Antimalarial drugs that prevent or cure malaria
  • Skin lightening agents like Hydroquinone

10. Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome

It is a genetic disorder. It is characterized by presence of gastrointestinal polyps and hyperpigmentation of mucosal membrane and skin. This condition increases the chances of contracting intestinal cancer. If you ask what does the black line on your stomach indicates, then it might probably mean Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome. Under this condition, the dark mucosal lining in the mouth can have dark skin patches. If not serious, this syndrome also acts as one of the lip skin disorders.

11. Poisoning and toxic substances

Various toxins and poisonous substances and metals are known to cause darkening and lip discoloration. Some of them are mercury, bismuth, copper, silver, etc. The lips can get burns by caustic substances like strong alkalis, acids and other toxic elements. These lead to darkening and lip discoloration.

12. Darkening by Smoking

It is known that “Smoking is injurious to health. It can cause even death.” Smoking also affects the skin, especially the face. The most affected is the sensitive skin of lips. The lip skin darkens tremendously. The lips get very dry and start showing wrinkles and fine lines on and around them. This also affects the teeth which became brown or dark. Quitting smoking is the only way to recover the fresh and natural look of lips. Here are some tips on brightening you lips, darkened by tobacco use.

Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking” should be read. It has sold about 13 million copies across the world and is called the bestselling book. This book helps you to quit smoking quickly and permanently.

13. Due to dehydration

Dehydration is one of the most important causes of dryness of upper and lower lips. Dehydration can occur for two reasons – One is lip licking and the other is not consuming enough water. Dry lips and skin of chin, hands, face, neck, lips, etc. is common symptom of and indicate dehydration. This ultimately leads to darker shades on lips. Dry, itchy and dehydrated lips in adults are symptoms and signs of pregnancy, drinking, lack of vitamins and lack of moisture (i.e. dehydration).8-10 glasses of water is essential to keep a person’s skin moist and nourished. Enough water helps to maintain the lip skin healthy and fair.

14. Allergy causing agents

Lip cosmetics lipsticks, lip balms or lip glosses may contain allergens sometimes. Generally fragrances and dyes within the cosmetic products are lip allergies causes and increase the chances of allergy. Allergic reaction to lipstick includes symptoms like dark spots or black lined lips. You must discontinue use of cosmetics if you know that they are causing allergies. Allergens are important causes of red lips and show variety of symptoms like sores, etc.

15. Hot beverages, Caffeine, etc.

Many people have a liking towards coffee and tea and they fall to their cravings. They consume a large proportion of it and they do so even when the sun is blazing hot. Coffee and tea give us freshness and help us discard laziness, but excessive consumption is harmful for health. The effects are very harsh on your body. Sensitive skin like that of lips is severely affected by more than 5 cups of hot coffee or tea. The lip skin darkens with increased consumption of caffeine. This also stains your teeth. Very hot beverages are what causes your lips and tongue to burn.

16. Neglecting lip care

Lip skin is considered one of the most sensitive parts of the body. Owing to this it gets damaged very easily and hence it is of utmost importance to take proper and regular care of it. Winters are harsh on lips. Many neglect lip care during this period. This first dries the lips and prolonged negligence can lead to chapped lips. This dryness and chapped nature of lips leave a dark mark in form of lines and patches on the lips thus leading to dark and black upper (top) and lower lip. Thus winters are known for cold hands and black lips. Natural remedies right at home can easily avoid this darkening of lips. Read the article “how to take care of your lips”. The article explains ways to get really beautiful and lovely lips right at your home.

17. Caused by Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis and Atopic dermatitis are two types of it. Atopic one is not harmful to lips. However Contact Dermatitis is detrimental to lips especially those of women. Touch of lipstick, lip balms, lip liners and lip gloss can give contact dermatitis. If you have dermatitis, these lip products lead to gradual lip darkening and will not show any symptoms of dermatitis like itching. The lip dermatitis pictures show how bad the lips look. The cheaper cosmetics with chemical dyes, etc. give dermatitis. This is the reason dermatologists suggest against the use of inferior quality cosmetics. Recognized and reputed brands avoid such chemicals. Avoid dermatitis by using high quality lip balm which is also for lip lickers and women licking lips.

Dark Lips – other reasons

  • Allergic reactions, injuries, etc.
  • A rare occurrence of dark lips is due to incorrect or troublesome dental fixture.
  • Allergy is known to cause lip darkness, and you might be allergic to some particular toothpaste.
  • Whenever hormonal changes occur owing to infection, disease or even age, black lips can occur.
  • Vitamin B deficiency can discolor lips. Multi-vitamin pills and vitamin rich foods can help in this case.

You can quickly brighten your dark skin and lips and make them pinkish through these lip darkening treatment. Many natural remedies are available to lighten up the lips. Dark lips can also be battled by lip balms, lipsticks, lip cream and lip glosses. Cheap lip cosmetic products have chemicals and should be avoided. Try to use branded, best and high-quality cosmetics even though they cost a bit more. Battling your lip darkening will be effective. Let me know what method you use for brightening dark lips; just leave a comment.

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