Does dark lips in newborn indicate any underlying cause?

Q. My newborn baby's lips are dark. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Bhaisara Baraturam Bhagrati
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Aug 02, 2020

Hello doctor,

My 1-month-old baby has dark (black) lips and it seems not normal for me. What will I do?



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

Dark lips can be because of multiple factors. Commonest being cyanosis. Cyanosis usually occurs in heart disease. But, I would like to know does it increases when the baby cry, if yes then you need to see a doctor to evaluate congenital heart disease.

It can be a normal variation if one of the parents have dark lips. Rare causes are adrenal gland disorder which needs further investigation. But looking at the baby's health it is less likely he will be having an adrenal disorder. Still, I will suggest, it will be better to see a doctor for a detail examination. So that major illness should be picked up early.

Thank you doctor,

Tanning does not increase on his lips when he cries. He is not exposed to cold weather. We have seen no other symptoms aside from lips darkening. My baby seems normal. I like to share that we have also exposed our baby to sunlight every morning. My baby's lips seem smoker's lips (see attached). My baby is not always on a breastfeed, we feed him with S26 Gold milk alternately, since I produce less milk every day.



Welcome back to

I appreciate your care, and I am happy to see baby look absolutely normal on the image (attachment removed to protect patient identity). Since baby does not have any symptoms like breathing difficulty, increased cyanosis on crying, fever or vomiting, no refusal to feed. It could be just physiological variation it shall improve as the baby grows.

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