Causes and Treatments of Upper Lip Discoloration

Hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration can cause dark areas to appear on your face. Those spots look quite unsightly, and they are very unattractive when they are on your upper lip. Skin discoloration on your upper lip is called melasma and can be a cause of embarrassment for you. Thankfully, you do not have to live with this condition because you can try ways to reduce and treat discoloration in your upper lip. 

Causes of Upper Lip Discoloration

Discoloration in your upper lip is usually a sign of hormonal changes, but it could also be the result of spending too much time out in the sun. Moreover, any irritation in the area and a change in your diet can also lead to lip discoloration

  • Hormonal changes that lead to discoloration are more likely to affect women with darker skin tone. You may experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, birth control pills, and hormone replacement therapy.
  • Some women try to wax the area to get rid of light hair, but this irritates the area around their lips and results in discoloration.
  • Similarly, you may have to deal with darker lips and skin above your lip because of smoking. People who drink excessive amounts of tea or coffee also have to experience the same problem.
  • Some other causes include chemotherapy treatments, certain illnesses, excessive sweating, and lack of hemoglobin in your red blood cells.
  • Moreover, certain medical conditions, such as jaundice or dermatitis that cause oxygenation problems can leave you with purple-tinged lips.
  • Excessive use of substandard lipsticks and lip-liners may also contribute to this problem.

Treatments for Upper Lip Discoloration

It is important to identify the underlying cause of melasma to select the most appropriate treatment. Here are some ways to treat the problem.

1. Learn to Deal with Stress Better

Stress can lead to all sorts of hormonal imbalances. When your hormones are not in balance, you may experience several problems including melasma. You can always try techniques like yoga and meditation to reduce stress. Spending some time doing things you enjoy can also help make stress more manageable.

2. Try OTC Hydroquinone Cream

You can try hydroquinone cream or other OTC medications to lighten your skin. You can get hydroquinone in the form of lotion, cream, liquid, and gel. Regular use of this cream inhibits the production of melanin that causes skin discoloration. It is better to use hydroquinone creams with sunscreen to help protect your skin while going out in the sun.

3. Make Use of Tretinoin

You can take tretinoin – a type of vitamin A – to encourage your body to shed dead skin cells at a better rate. This will help reduce the appearance of dark spots over your lip. While tretinoin alone is not going to resolve the issue for good, it will certainly help make the affected skin shed quicker.

4. Try a Holistic Approach

Instead of using chemicals, you can also use natural remedies to deal with upper lip discoloration. These natural substances can help limit the production of pigment-producing components in your skin.

You can try paper mulberry, a plant that grows as a small shrub and has potent medicinal properties. You can get many products that use paper mulberry as ingredient and help treat melasma. Be sure to follow all the instructions when using these products.

Similarly, many other ingredients may also help produce positive results. For instance, you can opt for products that contain mandelic acid, watercress, bearberry, lemon peel extract, vitamin C, and apple cider vinegar. All these ingredients can relax pigment-producing compounds and lighten your skin tone.

5. Take Medications with Care

You should practice some care when taking certain medications because they can lead to skin discoloration. This can happen when you take certain medications, such as hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills. These medications can change hormones and lead to melasma. If you experience this issue after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor and ask for an alternative.

6. Get a Chemical Peel

It is possible to peel the discolored layer of your skin by using a chemical peel. The peel uses glycolic acid or some other types of chemical abrasive. You have to apply the liquid chemical to your skin, which helps make your skin look fresh and lighter. You can use glycolic acid for good effects, but trichloroacetic acid is another nice option.

7. Consider Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion

You can undergo certain treatments, such as dermabrasion or microdermabrasion to help lighten the appearance of dark spots. Both these treatments help "sand off" the upper layer of your skin with the help of abrasive materials.

Most people considermicrodermabrasion because it uses smaller materials and offers better results. During this treatment, experts will use fine crystals across your skin to strip away dead skin cells. You usually need to go for five procedures to get satisfactory results – you may also require a maintenance treatment every 4-8 weeks.

Prevention of Upper Lip Discoloration

While there are ways to treat melasma, it is better to take precautionary measures to avoid dealing with this problem in the first place. The most important thing is to limit your exposure to the sun. Before going out in the sun, you should take the following preventive measures.

  • Consider wearing a hat with a brim to protect your face from the sun.
  • Use sun block to areas more prone to discoloration – opt for the one that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
  • Use sunscreen to protect your skin from ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. Opt for a product that comes with a SPF of at least 30.
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