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Home Remedies For Pink Lips

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction:

More blood vessels appear through the lip skin because the lip skin has very less melanin (natural skin pigment). This is the reason why your lip appears pink in colour. There are no sweat glands and hair follicles on the lips.1 Normal skin contains cells known as melanocytes, which produce melanin. When the skin contains too much melanin, it is known as hyperpigmented skin.2

What Causes Discoloured Lips?

Causes of discoloured lips include:

  • Excessive exposure to the sun: When the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun reach the skin, it causes the skin to make more melanin, which can further cause hyperpigmentation.3
  • Smoking cigarette4
  • Allergic reaction caused by lipstick or hair dye applied to the moustache5
  • Skin inflammation caused due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). PIH occurs when the skin makes more melanin after being injured or irritated.
  • Hormonal disorders like Addison disease: Addison disease is a rare hormonal disorder that causes hyperpigmentation.
  • Iron overload, also called hemochromatosis, is a hereditary disorder in which iron salts are deposited in the tissue, which causes discolouration of the skin.
  • Certain birthmarks
  • Pregnancy (mask of pregnancy or melasma)2

A clinically important condition associated with discoloured lips is that sometimes an associated Black spot on the lip can also be a malignant tumor (cancer). With shiny black spots that look like scars, bleeding, or black sores that don’t heal, it’s important to see your doctor soon for an evaluation.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Symptoms of Discoloured Lips:

Symptoms of discoloured lips include:

  • Darker lips
  • Purple-black colour lips
  • Sometimes, the lips are red and dry/flaking5

Did you know?

Suggested Home Remedies for Pink Lips:

Home Remedies to get pink lips are:

1. Lemon:

In a study conducted in 2002, researchers identified that the lemon peel was found to effectively stop melanin production.6 You can use lemon to redden your lips. It has been used for a long time.7 Lemon juice and its oil are beneficial for the skin. They rejuvenate the skin and keep the skin shiny, as they contain vitamin C and flavonoid (a plant compound that manages the activity of cells and fights free radicals that cause stress on your body).8

2. Turmeric:

Overproduction of melanin can be a cause of hyperpigmentation. In a study done in 2009, turmeric was found to block melanin that causes hyperpigmentation. In addition, it contains antioxidant properties and helps to avoid excess melanin production.9 Therefore, turmeric might help achieve pink lips.

3. Aloe Vera:

In a study, it was found that aloe vera prevents melanin production. Therefore, applying aloe vera to the lips might be beneficial.10 Aloe vera has healing, anti-inflammatory, moisturising properties that might be helpful for the skin.11

Also Read: Aloe Vera: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

4. Pomegranate:

In an animal model, pomegranate extract was found to reduce skin pigmentation by preventing melanin production and proliferation of melanocytes (cells containing melanin). Therefore, pomegranate might be beneficial for dark lips.12

5. Beetroot:

Beetroot contains vitamins A and C, nutrients like iron, and betanin (dye obtained from beetroot) that are responsible for moisturising and colouring effect.13 Hence, beetroot might be helpful in achieving pink lips.

Eating lots of berries like bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), blueberry, cranberry, and pear trees which contain arbutin which inhibits tyrosinase activity , an enzyme required for melanin production is very effective for lightening lips.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka – MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

When to Seek Medical Help?

You can seek medical help if you notice:

  • Unexplained, constant darkening of the skin
  • Discoloured skin that is causing significant worry and is affecting you
  • Any lesion or skin sore that changes the colour, size, and shape (may be a sign of skin cancer)2

Certain medications containing heavy metals, the ones used to treat cancer, and the ones to treat convulsions can cause hyperpigmentation on the lips.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

Conclusion:

Generally, the lip skin has significantly less melanin as compared to the rest of the face. Discoloured or dark lips might be caused due to various reasons. Several home remedies like lemon, turmeric, aloe vera, etc., might be helpful for managing dark lips and attaining pink lips. Usually, dark lips are common, but if you feel that there is a persistent darkening of the skin and it is worrying you, or you notice any lesion that changes colour, size, and shape, you must seek medical help.

Also Read: Best Home Remedies For Facial Hair

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are there any home remedies to get pink lips?

Yes, there are a few home remedies for pink lips, including lemon, aloe vera, turmeric, beetroot, and pomegranate. These home remedies might be helpful to get desired pink lips.6,9,10,12,13

Can I use pomegranate to get healthy pink lips?

In a study, the researchers found that the extract of pomegranate reduces skin pigmentation by stopping melanin production. Hence, it may be helpful for you to get healthy pink lips.12

Why is my lip colour dark?

There can be several reasons why your lip colour is dark. Some of the reasons include excessive sun exposure, smoking cigarette, allergic reaction due to lipstick, hair dye applied to the moustache, skin inflammation, diseases of the hormone system like Addison disease, iron overload (haemochromatosis), certain birthmarks or pregnancy.2-5

Can aloe vera be used for managing dark lips?

Aloe vera might be helpful for managing dark lips. Aloe vera has healing, anti-inflammatory, moisturising properties that might be helpful to your skin.11

Should I visit a doctor for darker lips?

Although dark lips are common, if you notice unexplained, persistent skin darkening, or any lesion that changes colour, size, and shape, then you must visit a doctor.2

Why is the colour of the lips pink?

The lip skin has more blood vessels that appear through the skin due to very less melanin in the lip skin. This is the reason why the lips appear pink in colour.1

Does the sun affect the colour of lips?

Yes, the sun can affect the colour of your lips. The sun’s UV rays reach the skin and cause more melanin production, which can further cause hyperpigmentation that might darken your lips.3

Is lemon a good option to get pink lips?

Yes, lemon might be a good option to get pink lips. It effectively stops excess melanin production and may be used to redden your lips. Added benefits of lemon use are that it rejuvenates the skin, protects the skin from infections and keeps the skin shiny. 6,7,8 

Can I use beetroot to get rid of dark lips?

Yes, you can use beetroot to get pink lips. Beetroot contains vitamins A and C, nutrients like iron and betanin (dye obtained from beetroot) that are responsible for moisturising and colouring effect.13

References:

  1. Kadu M, Vishwasrao S, Singh S. Review on Natural Lip Balm. International Journal of Research in Cosmetic Science. Int J Res Cosmet Sci. 2014;5(1):1–7. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Suruchi-Kokil/publication/301204451_Review_on_Natural_Lip_Balm/links/570c7e5008ae8883a1ffeed2/Review-on-Natural-Lip-Balm.pdf
  2. Berman K. Skin – abnormally dark or light: Medlin Med Encycl [Internet]. 2013. Available from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003242.htm
  3. John Hopkins. Sun SAfety [Internet]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/sun-safety
  4. Multani S. Interrelationship of smoking, lip and gingival melanin pigmentation, and periodontal status. Addict Heal [Internet]. 2013;5(1–2):57–65. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24494159%0Ahttp://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=PMC3905564
  5. Dr Delwyn Dyall-Smith FACD. Pigmented contact cheilitis. 2010. Available from: https://dermnetnz.org/topics/pigmented-contact-cheilitis
  6. Sasaki K, Yoshizaki F. Nobiletin as a tyrosinase inhibitor from the peel of Citrus fruit. Biol Pharm Bull. 2002;25(6):806–8. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12081153/
  7. USDA. Lemon. Available from: https://dpi.wi.gov/sites/default/files/imce/school-nutrition/pdf/fact-sheet-lemon.pdf
  8. Mohanapriya M, Ramaswamy L, Rajendran R. Health and Medicinal Properties of Lemon (Citrus Limonum). Int J Ayurvedic Herb Med [Internet]. 2013;1(3):1095–100. Available from: http://interscience.org.uk/v3-i1/8 ijahm.pdf
  9. Panich U, Kongtaphan K, Onkoksoong T, Jaemsak K, Phadungrakwittaya R, Thaworn A, et al. Modulation of antioxidant defense by Alpinia galanga and Curcuma aromatica extracts correlates with their inhibition of UVA-induced melanogenesis. Cell Biol Toxicol. 2010;26(2):103–16. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19288216/
  10. Jin YH, Lee SJ, Chung MH, Park JH, Park YI, Cho TH, et al. Aloesin and arbutin inhibit tyrosinase activity in a synergistic manner via a different action mechanism. Arch Pharm Res. 1999;22(3):232–6. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10403123/
  11. Surjushe A, Vasani R, Saple D. Aloe vera: A short review. Indian J Dermatol. 2008;53(4):163–6. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  12. Yoshimura M, Watanabe Y, Kasai K, Yamakoshi J, Koga T. Inhibitory effect of an ellagic acid-rich pomegranate extract on tyrosinase activity and ultraviolet-induced pigmentation. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2005;69(12):2368–73. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16377895/
  13. Badgujar SR, Sonawane MH, Pawar AS. FORMULATION AND EVALUATION OF LIP CARD WITH BETACYANIN PIGMENT OF BETA VULGARIS ( BEET ROOT ). 2021;9(5):111–6. Available from: https://ijcrt.org/papers/IJCRT2105341.pdf

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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