Hyperpigmentation around Mouth: What’s the Solution Here?

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

A pigment in your body known as melanin gives your skin, eyes, and hair its color. Your natural pigmentation, or skin color, is determined by the amount of melanin in your skin and other body parts. Many factors may affect the balance of melanin in your body like genetics, hormones, infections, and environmental changes, leading to hyperpigmentation face and skin. This blog will discuss the reasons for hyperpigmentation around mouth and the cure for hyperpigmentation.

Causes of Hyperpigmentation around Mouth

Here are some of the common hyperpigmentation around mouth causes you must be mindful of:

Melasma : Melasma, also called ‘the mask of pregnancy’, is characterized by dark spots and gray-brown pigmentation on the forehead, cheeks, chin, and upper lip. Hormonal changes in women typically cause them. These can happen when taking oral contraceptives, birth control pills, or hormone replacement treatment as well as during pregnancy.

Medication Side Effects

Oral contraceptives may cause melasma and other medications can increase the risk of hyperpigmentation around mouth. These include:
Hormone replacements, especially estrogen
Doxycycline, a type of antibiotic that can increase sun sensitivity
Chemotherapy drugs

Sun Exposure: As you age, ultraviolet (UV) radiation from tanning beds and the sun can make you more susceptible to dark spots. Among these are age spots, sometimes called liver spots or sun spots. The face, chest, and arms are the most common areas. Moreover, sun exposure could worsen melasma. If you apply sunscreen without covering your mouth area, your risk increases.

Trauma to the Skin: You may develop hyperpigmentation face after a serious injury, acne breakout, burn, or infection around your mouth in brown or black spots after the skin heals. This condition is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and the related discoloration usually goes away after a few months. Lip licker’s dermatitis or contact dermatitis from lip balms and toothpaste can also result in this kind of discoloration.

Vitamin Deficiencies: Metabolic disorders and imbalances are other common causes of hyperpigmentation around mouth. This can include diseases like Addison’s disease, which affects the adrenal glands and other metabolic issues. In addition to diseases and hormone imbalances, Vitamin B, folic acid, and iron deficiencies can also lead to hyperpigmentation.

Cure for Hyperpigmentation around the Mouth

Hyperpigmentation around mouth will usually fade in time, although it can take months to years. Here some of the options you can try:

Steps you can take on your own to treat hyperpigmentation:

Dark spots may fade if you take sun protection measures, including applying sunscreen daily. The mouth area is often missed when applying sunscreen, so be sure to do so daily and reapply as needed.
Exfoliation and skin brightening serums containing antioxidants like vitamin C and Vitamin E may also help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Before using vitamin E, do a patch test to ensure you’re not allergic.

A dermatologist may recommend one of the following options:

Prescription-strength retinoids or hydroquinone
Azelaic acid to reduce discoloration and inflammation
Kojic acid for melasma and age spots
Laser therapy for dark spots
Chemical peels to help exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of pigmentation around mouth.

When to See a Doctor?

Certain types of discolorations around the mouth may go away over time or when you stop using contraceptive pills that cause hyperpigmentation around mouth. If self help doesn’t lessen the look of discoloration, you should consult a dermatologist. A primary care doctor can assist in managing medicine side effects and pigmentation problems associated with underlying medical conditions.

Preventing Pigmentation around Mouth

Depending on the cause, these measures might help prevent dark spots around the mouth:

  • Sunscreen containing iron oxide daily can help prevent hyperpigmentation or melasma caused by sunlight exposure.
  • Switch medications if recommended by a doctor.
  • Avoid tanning beds and peak sun hours (late morning to afternoon).
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face.
  • Address the diagnosed nutritional deficiencies.
  • Avoid using skin care products that are harsh and burn or sting when applied.


Excess melanin production in your skin can cause discoloration around the mouth. Sun exposure, medication side effects, and hormonal changes are all reasons for pigmentation on face. Skin discoloration can also result from other medical conditions like damage to the skin and nutritional deficiencies.
Dark spots around the mouth are usually harmless but seek medical treatment if they appear bothersome and irritating. Consult a dermatologist if you think hyperpigmentation face could indicate an underlying medical condition.

HK Vitals


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