How to treat dark lines on the upper lip?

Q. I have dark lines that align with my upper lip and curve downwards while smiling. What is that?

Answered by
Dr. Sneha Mariam Varghese
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jul 16, 2020 and last reviewed on: Aug 21, 2023

Hello doctor,

I have recently developed dark lines that align with my upper lip and curves downwards when I smile. I have no idea what this can be and how to treat it. Please let me know if you can help me. I use a cream to help with my acne, but I have been using it for the past four years now and never experience anything like this.



Welcome to

I have seen the attached photo (attachment removed to protect patient identity) and read your history, and what you are having is pigmentary demarcation lines. Pigmentary demarcation lines can cause an appearance of uneven pigmentation over the face that can be worsened by overexposure to sunlight, age, over application of cosmetic products, genetics, post-acne scars, application of hair dyes and color, dandruff problems or dry scalp, seborrheic scalp, and comedones, open pores. You can use Demelan cream (Kojic acid + Arbutin + Glycolic acid) to apply on the area at night for 30 days. The day time application of sunscreen with SPF not less than 50 is mandatory. Capsule Antoxid HC once daily for 30 days. The cosmetic procedures to choose for the treatment of uneven pigmentation are PRP (platelet-rich plasma) with growth factors and collagen complex, glutathione shots, microneedling with serums, laser therapy, chemical peeling, vitamin shots. It is very important you follow a healthy skin routine for healthy skin. Start with cleansing your face with facewashes. Use soap-free cleansers like Cetaphil or CeraVe or D acne. Avoid foamy facewashes. If you have visible pores and you are prone to blackheads, you can use any alcohol-free toners after face wash. Next step you can use the serum. After serum, use a moisturizer, gel- based preferably again you can use Cetaphil, CeraVe, La Roche Posay, or any moisturizer with an Aloe vera or oatmeal, rice extracts for a soothing effect. It is very important to use a moisturizer to seal in the moisture. At daytime, use a sunscreen of SPF (sun protection factor) not less than 30, two hours before getting into the sun. Apply twice once in the morning and next application at noon. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water. Maintain a healthy weight and diet. I hope this helps.

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