Lips Have Black Spots? Causes, Treatment, Risks & FAQ

Updated on January 6, 2023
Tatiana Cooper By Tatiana Cooper
Lips Have Black Spots? Causes, Treatment, Risks & FAQPIN

Table Of Contents

    Lips Have Black Spots? Causes, Treatment, Risks & FAQ

    Finding a dark spot on your lips is never a fun way to start or end a day, nor do we think you feel very Cruella Devil about it. Don’t worry; we have the insight to help you understand what is going on with your lip’s black spots. You could suffer from a pesky little spot on the lips for many reasons, such as sun exposure, lack of proper vitamins, dehydration, allergic reaction, and many others.

    If you are surprised by the occurrence of the little spot, we recommend getting it checked out by your healthcare provider to ensure it’s not something of concern. Identifying the problem is the first and most important step to resolving it. Figuring out the key reason for your lip’s black spots will lead you to find the key to solving it.

    What Causes Dark Spots on Lips?

    There are many causes of black spots on the lips, and it’s essential to understand what could be causing them. Once you know why you are experiencing pesky spots, you can better understand the treatment measures you might need.

    Melanotic Macule

    One of the causes of dark spots on the lip is a melanotic macule, a benign hyperpigmented mucous membrane lesion. This lesion will look like a freckle on your lip and can form singularly or in clusters. They appear as flat tan-to-dark brown spots, typically less than 7 mm in diameter.

    The most common locations for melanotic macules are:

    • Lips
    • Gums
    • Inside the cheek
    • On the roof of the mouth

    Sun Spots

    Another common and harmless reason you could see a spot on your lip might be sunspots. Sunspots are also known as age spots, and they occur on the body from prolonged exposure to the sun. They look like small, flat dark spots on the skin. People commonly mistake melanoma for sunspots and try to treat them as you would treat sunspots. This, however, can cause harm, so it’s essential to contact your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.


    Melanoma is the proper name for skin cancer, which can cause markings, lumps, or spots that can change in color, shape, and size. Skin cancer is related to 79% of cancer deaths, so we urge you to contact your doctor immediately to identify the cause of your lip’s black spots. However, it’s essential to ensure you get a proper diagnosis before worrying about it too much.

    Check out these symptoms of melanoma to help you better identify your dark spots.

    Melanoma Dark Spot On Lip Symptoms

    • Spot growth
    • Shape change
    • Color change
    • Bleeding or crustiness
    • Itchiness
    • Soreness

    Zohna Tip

    We highly suggest using a chapstick with SPF daily to avoid melanoma.


    Fordyce spots on lips are slightly raised sebaceous glands that appear in hairless areas. They typically appear on the edges of your lips or cheeks. These little spots aren’t too much cause for concern as they are non-cancerous. Fordyce spots commonly arise from an overgrowth of ectopic sebaceous glands, often linked to hormonal changes.

    People with oily skin are more prone to Fordyce as they form from an increase in oil. There are specific ways to help mediate the risks of Fordyce spots from forming, such as using a face wash for oily skin. If you have oily skin, you are also more susceptible to blackheads in ear and blackheads on nose. There is a blackhead removal tool that can help with clearing the skin. The better you care for your skin, the less likely you will see skin issues like black spots on the lips.

    Allergic Reaction

    Pigmented contact cheilitis is an allergic reaction that results in brown or black discoloration of the lips.

    It has been reported that people get this reaction from:

    1. Lipsticks formulated with isopalmityl diglyceryl sebacate, ricinoleic acid, dipentaerythritol fatty acid ester, and ester gum
    2. Hair dye formulated with para-phenylenediamine (PPD) and when used in the mustache region
    3. Green tea may contain high nickel levels, a common cause of allergic contact dermatitis.

    The symptoms begin with a burning and itching sensation, forming purple spots on the lips. By identifying what is causing the reaction, you can prevent the effects. However, the pigmentation may take up to 12 months to completely disappear.

    Other Causes of Dark Spots On Lips

    There are a few other reasons for your lip’s black spots worth noting, such as those outlined in the table below.

    Other Causes For Dark Spots On Lips Description
    Certain medications Some medications can lead to skin discoloration such as:
    • Antipsychotics
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Antimalarials
    • Cytotoxic drugs
    • Amiodarone
    Hormone Disorders Low levels of thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) can cause melasma. High thyroid hormone levels (hyperthyroidism) can also cause the darkening of the skin.
    Smoking The heat from a cigarette can burn your lips, causing scabs that discolor or scar them.
    Iron Hereditary hemochromatosis, a condition that causes the body to absorb too much iron, can cause discolored skin.

    How to Get Rid of Dark Spots on Lips

    If you have discovered the reason for the dark spots on your lips and they aren’t any serious cause for concern, there are many ways to get rid of them once you have identified their cause.

    Treatment #1: Vitamins

    One cause of dark spots forming for various reasons can be traced back to a lack of proper vitamins. Vitamins like B-12 help with evening skin tone, and if the body is lacking in it, you may see changes in the skin, such as dark spots or uneven skin tone.

    You can either replenish the lack of vitamins by purchasing them in pill form and taking them daily or by adding foods high in the vitamins you lack to your diet.

    Treatment #2: Hydration

    Drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial for the function of your body. Being dehydrated can have many harmful effects. One of the effects of dehydration can lead to chapped and irritated lips. When the lips become chapped small layers of the skin may peel and cause little injuries, which over time will turn into scabs changing the color of the lips.

    Drinking little water may lead to higher chances of the other causes of the dark spots mentioned developing. Ensuring you drink plenty of water throughout the day will prevent dark spots and decrease the risk of Fordyce, melanoma, sunspots, and melanotic macules forming.

    Treatment #3: Home Remedies

    If you are stressing out about your lip’s black spots and want to eliminate them as quickly as possible once you have ensured they aren’t cancerous, you can try home remedies made with ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen.

    These ingredients will help eliminate black spots on the lips:

    1. Honey
    2. Lemon juice
    3. Apple cider vinegar
    4. Turmeric

    Mixing those ingredients either together or individually with sugar or salt to create a lip scrub can help remove dead and discolored skin that could be causing those pesky dark spots.

    Treatment #4: Prevention

    One of the most effective treatments for dark spots on the lips is prevention. Making sure you are doing patch tests of products before using them on the lips can help mediate allergic reactions. Wearing sunscreen every day, despite being sunny or not, will help prevent sun damage that will lead to dark spots or worse skin conditions. Taking care of your skin with good skincare products and washing it every morning and night can help prevent skin concerns like dark spots.

    Black Spot on Lip Risks


    One of the most considerable risks of black spots on the lips is melanoma, skin cancer. Ensuring that you get the sites checked out by a doctor and adequately diagnosed is one of the most critical ways to mediate the risks and spreading of melanoma.

    Discoloration Spreading

    Another risk of black spots on the lips is discoloration. Not getting a proper diagnosis or using adequate treatment can lead to increased discoloration and spreading of the discolored skin. You can prevent discoloration by using sunscreen and chapstick, drinking plenty of water, using lip scrubs, and ensuring proper vitamin intake.


    Not treating and not actively trying to prevent hyperpigmentation on the lips can lead to a common skin condition called Melasma. Melasma forms brown patches on the skin and areas exposed to the sun causing hyperpigmentation. To prevent Melasma from forming brown and black spots on the lips, ensure you are protecting yourself from the sun with adequate sunscreen and a sunhat.

    When to Book a Doctor Visit

    If you start to see the formation of black spots on the lips, it’s never a bad idea to get the doctor to take a look to be safe. Even if the cause for your discolored pout isn’t harmful, seeing a doctor will help you to uncover the root cause and therefore be able to find the best solution to solving the problem.

    There are a few indications worth being aware of indicating if its time to go in for a check-up of the spot, such as:

    • Rapid growth and spreading
    • Itchiness, redness, tenderness, and bleeding
    • Irregularly shaped border
    • Unusual color combination

    When you go to your doctor, they will check the spot by:

    • Assessing your medical history, health issues, and medications
    • Examining the area, checking its symmetry and uniformity
    • For better determination, they may order a biopsy to do further testing


    • What Is the Most Common Cause of Dark Spots on Lips?

      One of the most common causes of dark spots on the lips is sun damage and dryness. Both those causes can progress into more aggressive causes of dark areas such as melanoma. There are ways to prevent and mediate sun damage and dryness risk. Wearing sunscreen on areas of the body exposed to the sun, including the lips, and wearing a hat will help moderate the risk of sun damage. Drinking plenty of fluids will help with the dryness.

    • What's the Best Way to Remove Black Spots on Lips?

      The best way to remove black spots on the lips is first to distinguish what exactly is causing the discoloration. That way, you are better equipped to understand what your smoochers need to restore them to their usually kissable selves.

      Once you have discovered the cause, we suggest purchasing a product with ingredients to help combat dark spots on the lips. If you don’t want to spend the money on a product, you can also make sugar or salt scrubs at home to help eliminate clogged pores and dead and discolored skin cells.

    • Does Lemon Juice Lighten up Dark Spots on Lips?

      Lemon juice is known as a natural bleaching agent and can be used to help lighten darkened lips. Adding lemon juice to a scrub will help exfoliate and lighten the lips. It won’t work immediately, but over time and with regular use, you should see changes to the darkness of your lips.

    Take Care of Lip Black Spots

    There is nothing to be embarrassed about if a spot appears on your lips. However, if we were you, we’d get it checked out to ensure it’s not anything that needs immediate attention. Taking care of your skin by eliminating as much exposure from the sun as possible is one of the most important ways to prevent any unwanted spots. We urge you to wear sunscreen daily on your face and lips, even if it’s pouring rain outside.