DermTV How to Treat Dark Upper Lip Skin DermTV Epi 381
Hello, I'm Neal Schultz pause And welcome to DermTV. Darkening of the upper lip is more often aproblem for women than men. And obviously it's moretroublesome to women because it can look like a mustache! But today,I'm only going to talk about actual darkening of the upperlip skin,
not hair, which is a different topic. So, this darkening often looks like a horizontaltan or brown band across most of the upper lip, and it usuallydoesn't touch the lip line. As a result, there's a very thin strip ofnormal colored skin between the actual lip line and the dark appearingband. And this thin normal colored strip actuallymakes the band look darker because of the contrast of it'snormal color with the darker area.
The darkening is made up of hues of two differentcolorsâ€¦ Tan to brown hues from excess melanin pigment, and red to purple hues from tiny enlargedblood vessels. Usually, the tan browns are more prominentthan the red purples. The excess melanin causing the tan brownsis caused by unprotected ultraviolet exposure of the affectedskin. But, the reason it appears there and not elsewhereis because those skin cells were abnormally sensitized
by normal female hormones, estrogen, to make excessive melanin pigment in response to UVdamage. The estrogens can be from birth control pills, current or prior pregnancies, or just normallevels of estrogens. It's almost like a localized form of melasmaor cloasma. And as a point of interest, we don't knowwhy those cells become so exquisitely susceptible to making extra melanin pigment.
Unprotected UV exposure and subsequent UVdamage also causes the tiny enlarged blood vessels that are responsible for the subtle red topurple huesâ€¦ but again, it's a mystery why they occur just in that band distribution. The treatment of the tan browns is the sameas treating chloasma. Use strict sun protection with chemfree sunscreens, topical depigmentingbleaches
and gentle chemical exfoliants. The red purplescan only be fixed by laser treatments that remove the enlargedblood vessels. Unfortunately, there still are no topicalproducts that safely and effectively treat enlarged or broken bloodvessels. So while there is a way to treat dark upperlip skin, just remember, it got that way in the firstplace because it was so sensitive, and as a result, all of the treatments I've mentioned haveto be very gentle.