What Causes Black Spots On Your Lips?

It’s a well-known fact that the health of your skin reflects the health of your body. That is why you should never ignore the spots on your lips, be it flaky patches, slight discoloration or raised moles. However, you don’t need to concern about dark spots, but diagnosis from a doctor is a must as they can identify its underlying cause.  Read this blog about the possible cause of black spots on your lips and how you can get rid of them.

Common Causes of Black Spots on your Lips

Are you wondering what causes black spots to form on your lips? If yes, then see the list to know the causes and how to get rid of black spots on your lips?

Allergic Reaction

If your spots are allergic to using a new product, this reaction is known as pigmented contact cheilitis. And the most common cause of the cheilitis are:

  1. hair dye
  2. lipstick or lip balm
  3. green tea, as it may contain nickel
  • Treatment of Allergic Reaction

If your spots are due to an allergic reaction to a product, then you should throw them away. Ensure that your beauty products are not expired and are placed in a cool and dark place.  

Angiokeratoma of Fordyce

Black spots on your lips are caused by the Angiokeratoma of Fordyce, which is generally dark red to black. These wart-like spots are harmless and vary in size, color and shape. You can find these spots on any mucous-producing skin, not just your lips, and they often occur in older people.

  • Treatment for Angiokeratoma

You can usually be left alone. But if you find them look similar to cancerous growths, then visit your dermatologist for diagnosis and give you the best advice when it confirms these spots are angiokeratomas.


If you have sunspots or actinic keratosis, then your lips will feel scaly or crusty. These spots can be flat or raised, rough, dry and crusty, tiny or large, and red, brown or pink colored. You are most likely to get keratosis on sun-exposed areas, like lips, faces, scalp, ears, neck, forearms and hands.

  • Treatment of Sunspots

Since the actinic keratoses are known to be precancer, your dermatologist must look at the spots. Not all the keratoses are active, so you don’t need to remove all of them. The treatment option may include scraping or cutting spots off, freezing the spots off, topical creams and chemical peels.


It is a common condition that causes brownish patches on your face, and it is also called Melasma which usually appears in the following areas:

  1. Nose Bridge
  2. Cheeks
  3. Chin
  4. Forehead
  5. The area above your upper lip

You can even get hyperpigmentation in other places like shoulders and forearms that are exposed to the sun. These are more common in women than in men, and hormone plays a major role in the development of Melasma. These patches are very common in pregnancy and are often called a ‘mask of pregnancy.

  • Treatment of Hyperpigmentation

You can prevent these from getting worse by protecting yourself from the sunrays. You can wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen to protect your skin. In addition, your dermatologist can prescribe medication such as azelaic acid, tretinoin, kojic acid and hydroquinone that can help lighten the spot. Your dermatologist may recommend microdermabrasion, dermabrasion, chemical peel, or laser treatment if topical medicine doesn’t work.

Too Much Iron

If you have hereditary hemochromatosis, then your body will absorb a large amount of iron from the food you eat and will store it in your organs. It will result in discolored skin or lips. Your body can get overloaded with iron if you

  1. Take iron shots
  2. Received numerous blood transfusions
  3. Eat a lot of iron supplements

If you are getting overloaded with iron this way, your skin also takes the bronze or grey-green tone.

  • Treatment of Iron Overload

To reduce the amount of iron from your body, the doctor may drain some of the blood through the phlebotomy process and have you donate blood often or prescribe medications.


If you are being out in the sun and wind or are not drinking enough liquids, it can leave your lips chapped and dry. Dry lips will start to peel, and you may even bite off little pieces of skin from your lips which can lead to scars and black spots on your lips.

  • Treatment of Dehydration

You must at least drink eight glasses of water every day. Then, while going out in the sun or wind, you need to use lip balm to protect your lips and avoid licking your lips. After you’ve rehydrated yourself fully, your lips will heal, and dark spots will fade with time.

Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

The deficiency of vitamin B-12 may make your skin dark. If you don’t get enough vitamin B-12  through supplements or diet, then it can cause dark spots on your lips.

  • Treatment of Vitamin-12 Deficiency

You can correct the mild B-12 deficiency by eating foods that contain vitamin B-12 and through multivitamins. A severe case of B-12 deficiency can be treated by taking weekly injections or eating high-dose pills.

Certain Medications                          

Some medicines that you eat can change the color of your skin or lips. These medications include antimalarials, cytotoxic drugs, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics or amiodarone.

  • Treatment Plan

Most of the medicine-related skin color changes are harmless. If you stop taking the drug, the spots will fade away; however, not in all cases. Many medications that cause skin pigmentation can cause sun sensitivity; you must apply sunscreen daily.

Hormone Disorders

Low levels of thyroid hormone can cause Melasma, the blotchy brown pigmentation on your face. Moreover, high levels of thyroid hormone can cause the darkening of your skin.

  • Treatment of Hormone Disorder

For treating skin discoloration that is caused by imbalanced hormones, you must fix the root problem. Then, your doctor will give you the best advice and medication to treat your symptoms.


The heat from the cigarette directly burn the skin on your lips, and since smoking delays the wound healing, these burns will form scars. These burns will even lead to post-inflammatory pigmentation that are dark spots left behind after healing your sore.

  • Treatment Plan for Smoking

You can heal your lips properly by quitting smoking, as it will give your lips time to heal. Consult your doctor for a cessation option and about any lightning cream that you can use.

Read related- What Causes Tingling Lips?

Is It Cancer?

Lips are generally the best site for skin cancer, and the most common ones are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. These usually occur in fair-skinned men who are over the age of 50. Men are more likely to develop lip cancers than women, and most time lower lip is affected.

You can identify whether the black spots on your lips is cancer or not by going through these checklists. The basal cell carcinoma symptoms:

  • a reddish patch
  • an open sore
  • a shiny bump
  • a scar-like area
  • a pink growth

The squamous cell carcinoma symptoms:

  • an elevated growth
  • a scaly red patch
  • a wart-like growth, which might bleed
  • an open sore

Most lip cancers are easily noticed and treated, and their treatment radiation, surgery, and cryotherapy. When lip cancer is found at an early stage, then almost all lip cancer can be cured.

Key Takeaway

Do black spots on lips go away? Yes, with proper diagnosis and treatment, it will go away. If you don’t know how you got the black spot, then consult your doctor. You must see your doctor if the spot is tender, itchy, rapidly spreading, has unusual color and irregular border. There can be many reasons for the black spots on your lips, but they can be treated if you visit the doctor.

If you are experiencing problem of black spots on lips, do consider consulting Meddo dermatologist for assessment and treatment

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