Q. I lick my lips a lot and it causes a permanent blackness above my upper lip. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Nov 09, 2019

Hello doctor,

When I was young I used to lick my lips a lot causing a red line above my lips and under my nose. One day I went out and came back with a permanent blackness above my upper lip (not my skin color). It lools like I have a mustache. Please help.

Dr. Sidharth Sonthalia

Cosmetology Dermatology HIV/AIDS Specialist Hair Transplant Surgeon Venereology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Well, we would be able to help you the most if you are able to provide us with a clinical photograph of your condition.

Based on the brief history you have provided to us, you seem to be suffering from Lip-lick cheilitis induced post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. In simple words, your habit of licking lips too often in childhood made the skin surrounding the lips (called vermillion border of the lips) too sensitive that it developed red lines and made it vulnerable to sun-induced pigmentation. One episode of having stayed out may have resulted in the tanning of the sensitive lip area resulting in pigmentation.

To prevent it from becoming darker, you should immediately start using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 40+ at least twice a day, every day, irrespective of your outdoor exposure. I am sure you will be able to procure a sunscreen from the pharmacy. For further details about ideal sun protection, you may read the sun protection information posted on our website.

Additionally, use a good moisturizer over the lip and surrounding skin at least twice a day.

To reduce the established pigmentation, a mild depigmenting cream may be needed. However, to suggest the ideal depigmenting cream for your condition, I would need to see the photograph of your pigmentation.

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