Lips Discoloration Treatment, Prevention, and Cause

Ladies, have you ever wondered why you might sometimes notice your lip change in color? Well don’t worry because you’re not alone and it’s not uncommon. This is a condition known as lip discoloration and it is usually found in women due to the nature of genetics, hormonal changes, diet, sun exposure, tanning, and the use of products on the upper and lower lips. Lip discoloration is not a dangerous condition, however depending on the colors/hue/amount it may be a sign of a more serious condition and you should contact your doctor for more information.

Types of Lip Discoloration

Discolored lips tend to be characterized by the lightening (white spots) or darkening (dark spots) of the lips in color and hue. These hues can range from brown, yellow, grey, blue, or even purplish tints depending on the skin tone.

3 Most Common Causes of Lip Discoloration

Hormonal Changes

A change in hormones is the most common cause for lip discoloration in women. This includes birth control and pregnancy. Usually when there are higher levels of estrogen in the body it can lead to discoloration in the lips. Oral contraceptives cause hormonal changes in the body which can lead to the upper and lower lip becoming discolored and while you may stop taking oral contraceptives to relieve discoloration it should be noted that discoloration may appear again during pregnancy. Pregnancy also causes a change in hormones, which can lead to discoloration of the lips. Hormone therapy is also a cause in lip discoloration.

Exposure to the Sun

Exposing oneself to the sun also poses a risk for lip discoloration, especially in the summer time. The heat can cause the lips to lighten or darken over time. This is the most common cause of lip discoloration in women with darker skin tones. Sun exposure affects melanin produced by the body, which can be a cause that leads to discolored lips. While the quantity of melanin in your body is usually determined by genetics different factors can have an impact on that. Exposure to ultraviolet light mainly from sunlight and from tanning beds at salons can have an affect on the amount of melanin your body is producing and that can lead to discolored lips.  The best way to treat lip discoloration due to sun exposure is to apply lip products that have an SPF of 15 or higher.


Chronic cigarette smoking and alcohol abuse can lead to lip discoloration. Long-term smokers are the most susceptible to discolored lips, but it ceases after regular use of smoking cigarettes. Chewing tobacco and drug use also leads to the discoloration of the lips. Some alcohol, including home-brews, uses different substances to speed up the fermentation process, which can cause a lip discoloration dark spot. The best prevention for discoloration is to curb your habits or cease them altogether; your lips should then return to their natural color.

The Best Discolored Lips Discoloration Treatment Methods

Lip discoloration may be disconcerting, stressful, and be aesthetically unpleasant. While the above are three of the biggest and most common causes for lip discoloration, it should also be noted that lip discoloration is an indication of some kind of health issue and it should lead one to contemplate a change in lifestyle. Taking little steps in changing your lifestyle can really help if you are susceptible to discolored lips.

Listed below are some common methods one can use to treat it:

Laser Treatment

This is the best and fastest treatment for discolored lips, however it can also be one of the most expensive treatments. Laser treatment can range anywhere from $25 USD to $1,600 USD but the average cost will typically be around $550 USD. This treatment involves scheduling an appointment with a specialist and undergoing laser treatment.

Correcting Cream

Also known as lightening cream, brightening cream, etc. This treatment works well but will take a longer period of time.There are many on the market varying in price and effectiveness. The best way to choose a lip discoloration cream is to make sure that it either has topical retinoid or hydrocortisone. These “ingredients” are the best at treating and preventing lip discoloration. Lip discoloration creams like these can be found at any local drugstore. Remember, the lips are a very sensitive part of the body, it’s best to handle it with care.

Other Treatment Methods

Not everyone wants to use chemicals to treat their lips. Don’t fret if you fall under this category! There are a handful of natural remedies that may help treat your lip discoloration. They are effective but will take longer periods of time to show any results, so patients and consistency is going to be key!


Exfoliating the lips helps clear dead skin and will help lighten the lips. A natural method to exfoliating the lips is to use a sugar scrub. These can be purchased at beauty shops, but why would you want to do that when you can just make one at home for cheap? Simply just mix sugar with some honey and scrub in circular motions gently. This will remove the dead skin and it also taste great too!

Lemon Juice

Lemon Juice is also an effective treatment. Lemons naturally have a lightening component that will help brighten your lips. Just simply slice a lemon and apply onto the upper and lower lips. This can be done by either rubbing the lemon onto your lips or by squeezing the juice and applying that. Make sure to moisturize after this!


If your lip discoloration is due to dietary problems then it is highly suggested that you start to drink more water. This will help flush out your system of any bad toxins in your body and will help clear up your skin. Make sure to limit your intake of dark colored teas, coffee, and sodas. As these can contribute to lip discoloration if consumed on a frequent level.


If you want a home remedy, applying white toothpaste is an easy and effective home remedy: place the toothpaste on your lips and let it dry, once dried take the toothpaste off. Be sure to repeat for a week to notice results.

In the long-term approach to prevention, applying a good lip balm every night to your lips helps in preventing lip discoloration. It helps preserve the natural color of your lips. Clarified butter is another remedy that helps to moisturize the lips, while also helping to get rid of dark spots.

While there are many causes of lip discoloration, some medical and some lifestyle, it’s good to know that you can take steps to treating lip discoloration, while also taking steps to preventing it. And if at any point your lip discoloration spreads or none of the home remedies are working please contact a health professional, as it may be something more serious.

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