Do you have dark lips?

Dark lips

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 30, 2024

Written by Dr Amrita Jain

Medically reviewed by  Dr. Vidhi Bhanushali Kabade BDS, TCC

Last updated Apr 30, 2024

Our face is the most noticed feature of our personality. Shining face, well-combed hair, glowing and flawless skin, and a beautiful smile make a very good impression. But have you ever noticed why your lips appear dark or discoloured? Or you have to mask your dark lips with a lip colour? Well, you don’t have to!

Here are a few reasons why your lips are dark.

Causes of Dark Lips


Angiokeratoma is a benign lesion of blood vessels of the lips, resulting in small wart-like marks of red to blue colour. These spots are usually harmless. It usually occurs in older people.  They are usually dark red-black wart-like spots.

Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as milk, fish, eggs, milk and milk products. Generally, It is not present in plant-based foods. But supplement pills can fulfill the need for Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B-12 helps to give the skin an even tone. If we have less amount of vitamin B12, you may get an uneven skin tone and dark spots may appear on your lips.


Dehydration is harmful not only for our body but also our mouth and lips. Lack of water may cause chapped and discoloured lips.

Iron over consumption

Hemochromatosis is an iron overload disorder in which a person absorbs too much iron from the food or drink. If the condition is left untreated, it can damage various organs in the body.

Your body can also get an overdose of iron by:

  1. Multiple blood transfusion
  2. Iron supplements


Some medications like cytotoxic drugs, amiodarone, anticonvulsants, etc. can change the colour of your skin and lips.

Dental treatments

Ill-fitted braces, mouth guards or dentures may get pressure sores on your gums or lips.


Dark LipsWhen you ask someone do you smoke? The person may say “No, I don’t”. But his lips never lie. The dark colour of your lips is a major indication of over smoking.


Lip cancer is usually seen in fair-skinned men over 50 years of age.

Most lip cancers are easily noticed and cured.


Certain toothpaste brands or cosmetic products such as lip balm, creams moisturizers are responsible for dark spots on lips. This type of allergy is called pigmented contact cheilitis. It is a term used for the superficial inflammatory condition of the lip.


The hormonal disorder may also cause dark or black spots on the lips. The thyroid levels are either low or high.

Treatment and prevention of dark lips

  1. Consult your doctor immediately if you have dark spots on your lips. Your doctor will try to reduce the source of the problem.
  2. If you have ill-fitting dentures, braces, or mouth guards, show it to your dentist. He will fix it for you.
  3. Quit smoking. It is not easy a first but if you give it a try you will certainly do.
  4. If you feel itchy or have scaly lips consult your doctor.
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Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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