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Black Spots on Lips

There are many people who present black spots on their lips, with the majority being displeased about this change in the physical appearance. However, not many people are aware that there are a number of factors that contribute to the appearance of these spots, such as the diet, medication or even lifestyle habits. Fortunately, it is possible to diminish these black spots, thanks a number of home remedies.

Causes of Black Spots on Lips

These are the most common causes that can contribute to the appearance of the black spots on lips:

  • Vitamin/nutrient deficiency – vitamin B deficiency (most common)
  • Hormonal imbalance – thyroid disorders (black spots – long-term effect)
  • Expired lip care products – when the lip care products are used beyond their expiration date, they can have a harmful effect, leading to the appearance of black spots on the lips
  • Inadequate dental fixtures – because of the constant pressure on the lips, black spots can appear
  • Dry lips – when the lips become excessively dry, the skin on them has the tendency to break and bleed; when the bleeding stops and a clot forms, this can appear as a black spot on the lips
  • Increased quantity of skin pigment – this condition is also known as hyperpigmentation and it can be reason why black spots appear at the level of the lips
  • Neoplasm – in extremely rare cases, the black spots at the level of the lips can be a sign of cancer; those who work in the open outdoors present the highest risk for developing such problems, due to the constant sun exposure (especially at the level of the lower lip)
  • Smoking – the nicotine that is contained in the cigarettes can stain not only the teeth but also the mouth, causing the appearance of black spots at the level of the lips (alcohol can have a similar effect, if consumed in excessive quantities)
  • Iron – when iron is present in excessive quantities at the level of the body, it can cause black spots to appear on the lips
  • Caffeine – the caffeine that is contained in coffee and other similar beverages, including tea, can stain both the teeth and the lips
  • Bad habits – if you have grown accustomed to biting or licking your lips, you might cause them to become dry and bleed, with the small blood clots appearing as black spots on the skin.

How to Diagnose Black Spots on Lips?

In the majority of the cases, the diagnosis made by taking the medical history of the patient and also be performing a physical examination (with a dermoscope). In the situation that a suspicion is raised about a potential neoplastic growth, the doctor will perform a biopsy – a small sample will be taken from the respective area and analyzed into the lab, so as to determine whether it is a malign or benign growth. Often times, the biopsy is performed at the same time with the excision (if possible).

Natural Remedies to Remove Black Spots on Lips

These are the natural remedies you can consider for the black spots on lips:

  • Lemon juice
    • Recommended because of its bleaching properties
    • It is indicated that freshly-squeezed lemon juice is applied to the lips, before going to bed, every night, until the results become noticeable (less visible spots)
  • Apple cider vinegar/beetroot
    • Both of these two natural remedies are recommended because of their bleaching properties
    • They can eliminate the black spots that are present at the level of the lips, restoring their normal, healthy-looking appearance
  • Glycerin + rose petals
    • Mixture with moisturizing effect
    • Recommended to be applied on the skin before going to bed
    • This natural remedy is especially recommended for smokers (diminish the black spots caused by nicotine).

Pictures of Black Spots on Lips

black spots on lips

Picture 1 – Multiple black spots found on the lips

black spots on lips pictures

Picture 2 – Thick black/brown colored spots and patches on the lips

Self-care measures

These are the self-care measures that you can consider for such problems:

  • Healthy diet
    • Adequate water intake, so as to prevent dehydration (no more dry lips)
    • No hot foods or drinks – can aggravate the already-existent black spots
    • No more tea or coffee (limited period of time) – they can exacerbate the spots on the lips
    • Reduced iron intake – watch out for both the supplements and the diet
    • Medication – it is for the best to check out the leaflet that comes with each drug, for potential side-effects; in the situation that the black spots appear as a side-effect of medication, it is recommended to switch it with another drug, one does not have such side-effects
  • Vitamin C
    • Especially recommended for smokers
    • Vitamin C – essential role in the production of collagen, which helps the tissues of the skin to be replaced → no more black spots, healthy aspect of the lips
  • Lipstick
    • Alternative for women – cover the black spots with lipstick, until they disappear or improve
    • Refrain from using old or expired lipstick, as this may be the source of your problem
  • Chapstick
    • Ensures the necessary moisture for the lips
    • Should be especially used in the winter season, when the weather is extremely dry
    • It will also prevent you from biting or licking your lips (two favoring factors for chapped lips)
  • Sun exposure
    • Avoid the prolonged and constant exposure to the sun, especially in the hot season and in the middle of the day
    • When going out, use lipstick with high SPF
    • Alternative – Vaseline petroleum oil (ensures the necessary moisture of the lips)
  • Bad habits
    • No smoking
    • No alcohol abuse.

When you should consider going to the doctor?

In the situation that you have tried natural remedies and the black spots did not improve, you should consider going to the dermatologist. If you have noticed that the black spots are actually small lumps, you should definitely make an appointment to the doctor. Keep in mind that, in rare situations, these black spots can be signs of cancer. Skin cancer is very aggressive and it has a high mortality rate. The longer you delay going to the doctor, the further the skin cancer will progress and it might not be possible to treat it anymore.

How to get rid of Black Spots on Lips?

In the situation that the black spots do not go away with natural remedies, it is possible to remove them with the help of laser surgery. This type of intervention presents a number of risks, such as scarring. If the problem is caused by inadequate dental fixtures, a visit to the dentist is required, in order for these to be re-adjusted and properly fitted. In the situation that the black spots have turned out to be cancerous lesions, both chemotherapy and radiation therapy are recommended as treatment. If possible, the doctor will recommend the excision of the neoplastic growth, followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy (in order to ensure that there are no more cancerous cells in the respective area).


In general, the prognosis is excellent, especially if the patient changes his/her habits and also avoids the above-mentioned risk factors. The prognosis is more reserved in the situation that the black spots are actually cancerous growths. The earlier the diagnosis is made, the higher the chance of survival is.

Black Spots on Lips
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