DermTV – How to Treat Dark Upper Lip Skin [DermTV.com Epi #381]

DermTV – How to Treat Dark Upper Lip Skin [DermTV.com Epi #381]



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Lots of people have written DermTV asking us what causes and how to treat dark upper lip skin. In this episode, Dr. Schultz discusses the topic.

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[TRANSCRIPT]

Darkening of the upper lip is more often a problem for women than men. And obviously it’s more troublesome to women because it can look like a mustache! But today, I’m only going to talk about actual darkening of the upper lip skin, not hair, which is a different topic.

So, this darkening often looks like a horizontal tan or brown band across most of the upper lip, and it usually doesn’t touch the lip line. As a result, there’s a very thin strip of normal colored skin between the actual lip line and the dark appearing band. And this thin normal colored strip actually makes the band look darker because of the contrast of it’s normal color with the darker area.

The darkening is made up of hues of two different colors… Tan to brown hues from excess melanin pigment, and red to purple hues from tiny enlarged blood vessels. Usually, the tan browns are more prominent than the red purples.

The excess melanin causing the tan browns is caused by unprotected ultraviolet exposure of the affected skin. But, the reason it appears there and not elsewhere is because those skin cells were abnormally sensitized by normal female hormones, estrogen, to make excessive melanin pigment in response to UV damage. The estrogens can be from birth control pills, current or prior pregnancies, or just normal levels of estrogens. It’s almost like a localized form of melasma or cloasma. And as a point of interest, we don’t know why those cells become so exquisitely susceptible to making extra melanin pigment.

Unprotected UV exposure and subsequent UV damage also causes the tiny enlarged blood vessels that are responsible for the subtle red to purple hues… but again… it’s a mystery why they occur just in that band distribution.

The treatment of the tan browns is the same as treating chloasma… Use strict sun protection with chemfree sunscreens, topical depigmenting bleaches and gentle chemical exfoliants. The red purples can only be fixed by laser treatments that remove the enlarged blood vessels… Unfortunately, there still are no topical products that safely and effectively treat enlarged or broken blood vessels.

So while there is a way to treat dark upper lip skin, just remember, it got that way in the first place because it was so sensitive, and as a result, all of the treatments I’ve mentioned have to be very gentle.

[ABOUT DERMTV]

Everyone can have beautiful, healthy, and younger looking skin, and DermTV, the Internet’s daily skincare video show, will demonstrate how by revealing expert tips and techniques and by providing real solutions for real skincare issues.

Skincare (whether cosmetic or medical) previously required a trip to your dermatologist or a shopping spree at the pharmacy. And that’s if you have a trusted nearby dermatologist or a local informed pharmacy. But not anymore. We at DermTV are committed to making best-in-class dermatology and skincare guidance accessible to everyone, anytime, at your computer.

Every weekday, our host, Dr. Neal Schultz, one of New York’s most trusted and respected dermatologists (see bio below), teaches skincare’s most timely and timeless issues. Topics include: the best at home techniques and new technology for facial rejuvenation, preventing and fixing sun damage from wrinkles to skin cancer, breaking news in dermatology, general skincare topics, and more.

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Comments (30)

  • Lilah Hamilton-Rana - Centennial Sr PS (1506) Reply

    Bill nye science guys father ๐Ÿ˜‚
    I'm not being mean you both are identical.

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Taehyungs Potato Reply

    I have this and im honestly not sure if it occurred because I wouldn't wear sunscreen outdoors, or maybe the fact that I wax my upper lip too often? Either way its annoying as hell

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Sweet potato Pie Reply

    I'm 48 pre menopause on Premarin for Hot Flashes which have gone away but this dark patch is getting worse please help don't know what to do I've been using the hydroquinone around 8 months but nothing has helped

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Eladio Gonzalez Reply

    this is so annoying

    read more

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Nour El Houda Reply

    i have the darkning on my unibrow area it looks green it's literally ruining my life the hair there grows so thick and most of it is under skin …. pls is there any treatement ??

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • the mgaical sisters Reply

    Please help me

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • the mgaical sisters Reply

    My lips are very black

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Nidhi Sharma Reply

    Hello sir I m from india this same problem with me….. I visit lots of doctors but this dark upper lip program not sort out… I need u r help sir

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Karthik M Reply

    it really works

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Karthik M Reply

    good video

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Himanshi Kannojiya Reply

    Sir mera no le lijiye 9871343541

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • victoria iam Reply

    I am going in deprestion bcs of this ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญ๐Ÿ˜ญpls help me

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Mariko Mcr Reply

    I need to get rid of my estrogen

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • valeshka nadan Reply

    he talks too much but still thanks

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Donamtrx Reply

    I've recently gotten a darkness on the actual lip that looks like I'm wearing lip liner…what to do bout THAT?!!!!

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Ajay Kumar Singh Reply

    The only true educational video i found so far on this topic.
    This not only explains the possible cause but also it's treatment to some extent.

    Better something than nothing.

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • srisai age Reply

    ,

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • akanksha patkar Reply

    any medical cream plzzz suggest

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • John Peters Reply

    pls….pls…pls….
    this upper lip shadow is ruining my life……..i no longer look at people at the face coz am so ashamed of it…
    pls….any tin….jst help me

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • John Peters Reply

    pls….pls…pls….
    this upper lip shadow is ruining my life……..i no longer look at people at the face coz am so ashamed of it…
    pls….any tin….jst help me

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Joanny Moronta Reply

    Anytime I shave my upper lip area it ends up turning greenish.. if I thread I get small little bumps but it doesn't get green (which is what I want but not under the cost of little pimples). So I'm thinking of getting laser hair removal on my upper lip area…. maybe that will help. Has anyone tried this? If so, what were your results??

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Pakam3 Reply

    this doctor was speaking my soul! …. until he mentioned lasers

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Cortney Miller Reply

    One method I have found to work is 1 teaspoon of honey 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoon of water.

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • -_- -_- Reply

    Okay so I have this and it honestly ruins my life – it's probably my biggest insecurity. One method I've seen but haven't tried yet is applying a mixture of lemon juice and water on to your lip every night, then washing it off the next morning. Due to the fact lemon juice has a lightening effect, it lightens the darker area. I thought I'd share this to help you guys out because it is honestly so horrible. I'll give an update if it does ๐Ÿ˜‚

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Sam H Reply

    Is it true hair removal creams like sally hanson darken skin?

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Veronica Moses Reply

    When i was in elementary school i had severe exima on my upper lip, and eventually i got it to go away. Ever since i have had a dark upper lip. Its so annoying!!! Im not about to bleach my skin to make it go away, there has to be something else

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Donkey Kong Reply

    I have a dark black spot under my bottom lip and idk how to lighten it :/

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Sara Yaser Reply

    Everytime I remove hair around the lips by shaving or threaten I found it red and full of blood then it turn black I put creams to avoid that and it didn't work anyone pleade help

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Kpop wifeu Reply

    does lemon juice will help in lightning dark uper lips shadow?

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm
  • Voice Of Truth Reply

    Hi doctor, how can I stop or reduce the melanin production for my Asian skin please? Whenever I use the sun screen my skin breaks out. Please help. Many thanks

    May 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm

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