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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes blackening of lips?

Answered by
Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1970

Answered : 7401 Questions

Posted on Wed, 17 Dec 2014 in Beauty & Cosmetics
Question: A few days ago, my bottom lip started turning black on the right side and in both corners of the lower lip. Since then it has spread to almost the entire lower lip. What could be causing this to happen?
Answered by Dr. Vasudha Jayant Athavale 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
lifestyle changes, self help, doctor's advise.

Detailed Answer:
Hi Moorehornet,
Thanks for the query.
In these days of struggle for success, first impression/ personality matter much, I understand your concern.
Blackening of lips can be caused by many causes ,ranging from some health conditions to life style factors.Let us enlist them in short & sort out one by one.
* Color of lips depends on natural melanin pigment you have. Dark people find it darker as age advances.
*Habit of constant biting /licking of lips- Needs to be changed. Keep the lips moist by drinking more water/ moisturizers.
*Exposure to sun/allergic reaction.( cosmetics or tooth paste)
*Eating disorders like anorexia/ acid reflux-GERD may cause repeated contact of lips with gastric acid- cause the dark lips.- Needs treatment.
* Nutrition-
- Anemia-less iron leads to less oxygenation of blood & lips may turn bluish
- Excess iron in blood turn lips black.
- B complex deficiency can lead to repeated cracks of lips ,which turn black on healing.
* health problems due to heart/ respiratory problems may cause blue/ black lips due to less oxygenated blood circulates in body.
* Life style -
- Smoking cigarette for long time .
- alcohol abuse,regular narcotic use (Crack cocaine/Crystal meth users )
-Betel leaf/Tobacco users
* Use of certain medicines- Tetracyclins,antimalerials,antidepressants,skin lightening agents,Photosensitive drugs for skin dis orders Can lead to dark lips.

Management- It consists of-
* controlling basic cause by self determination/ doctor's advise.
- Be well hydrated, have a healthy diet with optimum iron.vitamin A,C,E,B complex.,
- Change life style, leave hazardous habits of smoking, drinking, indulging with drugs.
- Leave lip biting/licking habit,
-Apply lemon juice + honey to lips ( natural bleaching)
- Regular lip care-cleaning, massage with olive oil. application of Aloe vera helps., butter, cleared butter Thick cold creams
* consult a physician for excluding cardiac,respiratory, iron, B complex problems.Start treatment as per need.
Check with the drugs causing it,& get them changed if needful.
* Yes for time being you can hide it with make up/lipstick- check that you are not allergic to it.
I hope, I have answered you up to your satisfaction. Any follow up query is welcome.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Shanthi.E

The User accepted the expert's answer

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