Due to several external and internal factors, your skin may start producing excess melanin in various parts of the body. Sometimes this happens on the face and more commonly around the mouth. This is termed ‘Hyperpigmentation.’ Dark skin around the mouth and lips can cause concern for many, especially women. Pigmentation around the mouth could be due to many reasons: e.g., hormonal changes, localised sunburns, underlying medical conditions, and lifestyle issues. Read further to understand all about hyperpigmentation around the mouth and how to get rid of it.

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

Every human has a skin pigment known as melanin, which gives them their natural skin colour. However, in cases of overexposure to the sun, hormonal fluctuations, certain medications, lifestyle habits like smoking and medical diseases, an imbalance can occur in melanin production and distribution anywhere in the body. This condition is known as hyperpigmentation. Localised dark patches around lips and mouth are a typical example of hyperpigmentation due to melanin disturbance.

What Causes Dark Skin Around The Mouth?

Excess or uneven melanin production in the skin can lead to patchy, dark skin areas on your body and face. Dark circles around the mouth are one of the most typical types of melanin disturbance seen in adults. There are several reasons that the body starts producing excess melanin in some parts of the skin, like:

● Melasma

Melasma is a skin condition defined by large, butterfly-shaped hyperpigmented patches spread over the forehand, cheeks, nose, and chin area. It is commonly known as the mask of pregnancy. It frequently happens during pregnancy or when women take oral contraceptive medications. The cause of this is a hormonal imbalance. It is more common in women and appears more defined with advancing age.

● Medication side effects

Medicines like doxycycline (antibiotic), chemotherapy, and hormone replacement pills containing estrogen can cause hyperpigmentation on the face and body.

● Sun exposure

Research suggests that visible light and ultraviolet radiation of the sun can cause darkly pigmented spots over the body and, more commonly, on the face. You may also increase your risk of developing discoloration around the mouth if you do not apply sunscreen correctly, covering all the areas of the face and mouth. Continuous use of tanning beds is also found to be responsible for causing dark spots on aging skin.

● Trauma to the skin

Traumatic skin issues like burns, deep cuts, acne breakouts, skin infections, or injuries can result in hyperpigmented skin after healing is complete. This is termed post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It usually takes a long time (several years) for the skin to regain its natural colour.

● Deficiencies

A lot of hyperpigmentation cases have been associated with vitamin deficiencies of vitamin B12 and vitamin D. Studies have shown that melasma cases are frequently associated with a vitamin D deficiency.

Treatment for Hyperpigmentation Around Mouth

● Home remedies

  • Sunscreen with a good SPF can fade away dark spots around lips if used regularly.
  • Retinoids and vitamin E can even out dark spots and heal your skin. Ask your skin doctor how and when to use them.

● Medical treatment

  • Prescription topical creams with retinoids and hydroquinone can reduce pigmentation around the mouth.
  • Azelaic acid formulations in serum and creams can help inflammation and reduce dark spots.
  • Kojic acid creams, when applied at night, are beneficial in lessening dark patches.
  • There are several laser therapy options for treating hyperpigmentation.
  • Chemical peels like glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and salicylic acid help exfoliate to even out skin pigmentation.

How To Prevent Hyperpigmentation Around Mouth

It would help if you follow the below-mentioned tips to avoid any discoloration around the mouth and lips:
  • Evaluate the cause of hyperpigmentation and try to eliminate it, e.g., smoking, using low-grade makeup products, etc.
  • Use sunscreen diligently all over the face, especially on sensitive areas.
  • Ask your doctor for alternative options for medications that are causing dark patches around the mouth.
  • Avoid the use of tanning beds.
  • Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm.
  • Opt for hats or face coverings that offer sunshade.
  • Get checked for nutritional deficiencies and speak to your doctor about how to treat them.

Deconstruct's Best Skincare Products To Get Rid Of Hyperpigmentation Around Mouth

Deconstruct Brightening serum (10% Niacinamide+0.3% alpha arbutin): A few drops of this serum after the toner can help even out skin tone and tackle hyperpigmentation. Deconstruct clearing serum (2% alpha arbutin+5% Niacinamide): This excellent serum helps to clear dark spots and hyperpigmentation around lips. Exfoliating serum (18%AHA + 2%BHA): This can help in deep exfoliation, which reduces the appearance of dark spots. Deconstruct Brightening moisturizer (5% Niacinamide + 1% Kojic Acid): This combination moisturizer is to be used after cleanser and serum. It helps to give a luminous and clear skin. Deconstruct skin brightening duo- Vitamin C & Ferulic Acid Serum + Clearing Serum: Applying this serum after cleansing your face can reduce free radicals and tanning. It brightens the skin by reversing sun damage Niacinamide Brightening Face Wash - 2% Niacinamide + 2% Liquorice root extract: This face wash formulation helps boost radiance and gives luminous skin over sustained use. Deconstruct Gel Sunscreen - SPF 55+ and PA+++: This lightweight sunscreen protects from the sun's harmful UV radiation and keeps the skin hydrated.


Dark spots around lips and mouth can make you conscious about your appearance. This is hyperpigmentation and can be due to medications, trauma, faulty makeup, smoking, or excessive sun exposure. In most cases, it is harmless and can be tackled with the help of home remedies, skincare products, skin treatments, and medications. However, if you are concerned that the dark skin around your mouth can be due to any other underlying physical/medical condition, get your doctor's advice to help you get rid of it. FAQs

Is hyperpigmentation around the mouth normal?

  • No, dark spots around the mouth and lips are not typical. It can be due to excessive sun exposure or lifestyle habits like smoking or using expired makeup.

Will hyperpigmentation go away naturally?

  • Most dark spots on skin go away if the causative factor is removed. For example, avoiding overexposure to the sun or not smoking. But it usually takes a long time for the skin to heal naturally and return to its actual color.

How can I correct the dark skin around my mouth?

  • The first step to correct the dark skin around mouth and lips is to remove or treat the causative factors if any.
  • Medicated bleaching agents like azelaic acid serum, vitamin c, kojic acid creams, and retinol can also help reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • Laser therapy and chemical peels are some skin treatment options to correct pigmentation.

Does vitamin C help with hyperpigmentation around the mouth?

  • Vitamin C can help fade dark spots around the mouth for 3 to 6 weeks with regular use.

What can you do for discolouration around the mouth?

  • For problems like discoloration around mouth, you can:
  • Exfoliate the skin around the mouth to debride any dead skin or clogged pores.
  • Always apply sunscreen over the affected areas to prevent further sun damage.
  • You can consult your doctor to start with some over-the-counter skin-bleaching cream.
  • You can consult and decide to undergo skin treatments like laser therapy or chemical peels.