Dark circles around the mouth are caused by hyperpigmentation or excess melanin in certain areas of the skin. Hyperpigmentation can result from exposure to the sun, skin inflammation, or endocrine disorders. It is possible to prevent the darkening of the skin around the mouth by avoiding overexposure to the sun and treating any inflammation or illness. If you already have a dark area around your mouth, you can do some procedures to lighten the area and even out the skin.
Method 1 of 3: Diagnosing the Darkened Area
Step 1. Understand why you have dark spots around your mouth
These spots often result from high amounts of melanin in certain areas of the skin. This melanin can be released by internal or external triggers. This disease is called hyperpigmentation. “Triggers” include sun exposure, melasma and skin inflammation.
- Dark spots caused by the sun: dark brown clumps that can take months or even years to appear in areas exposed to the sun. Once they appear, they usually don't come out until they receive treatment. The change in pigmentation is close to the surface of the skin and can be treated with creams and exfoliants. Always use sunscreen to prevent sunspots or keep them from getting worse.
- Melasma (Chloasma): These symmetrical dark spots come from hormonal changes from birth control or during pregnancy. When hormones mix with sun exposure, dark spots may appear on the cheeks, forehead, and upper lip. This form of hyperpigmentation tends to come back easily, even with treatment.
- Post-Inflammation Hyperpigmentation: You may have darker spots after a burn, pimple, or other skin abrasion if you have darker skin. In this case, the melanin is in deep areas of the skin and the black spots can take three to six months to disappear.
Step 2. Take the weather into account
The skin around the mouth becomes drier during the winter, and some people tend to moisten it with saliva, which eventually darkens the skin. If you haven't been in the sun too much, you may be moistening the area around your mouth more than you should.
Step 3. Know that the skin around the mouth is thin
This can lead to discoloration, dryness and creases in the mouth. These problems don't stay in the deepest parts of the skin, so you probably won't need an invasive treatment. It is possible to get rid of discoloration by treating and exfoliating the skin.
Step 4. Visit a dermatologist
If you're not sure what's causing the spot, a dermatologist can diagnose the problem and suggest treatment. Skin changes can signal cancer or other serious illnesses, so it's a good idea to let a doctor examine your symptoms.
Method 2 of 3: Trying out creams, scrubs and prescriptions
Step 1. Exfoliate your skin daily with a gentle exfoliant
The product will remove dead skin cells and, over time, lighten the dark areas around the mouth. Use a washcloth in an amount equivalent to a pea facial scrub. Rub the washcloth gently over your face to remove pigment cells and cleanse your skin.
You can find facial scrubs in drugstores, markets and cosmetic stores. Read product reviews before purchasing it. Some exfoliants are sold to treat acne and other skin conditions and use acids and other chemicals to cleanse the skin
Step 2. Use an over-the-counter skin whitening cream
You can find moisturizing and whitening products in drugstores and cosmetic stores; look for a cream that contains vitamin C, kojic acid (extracted from some species of fungi), arbutin (taken from the bearberry plant), azelaic acid (found in wheat, barley, and rye), licorice extract, niacinamide, or seed extract Grapefruit: These ingredients help block the enzyme tyrosinase, which is necessary for the production of melanin. Spread a thin layer of cream around the mouth, following the instructions for use and avoiding prolonged use.
Kojic acid is popular in skin treatments, but it can irritate sensitive skin; so be careful
Step 3. Try a prescription cream
If the dark spots aren't fading, your dermatologist might prescribe a hydroquinone-based cream, for example. Hydroquinone limits pigment-producing cells and slows down tyrosinase production. Dark spots tend to fade quickly with low pigment production.
- Animal studies have linked hydroquinone to cancer, but these animals were fed or injected with the substance. Most treatments for humans are restricted to topical use, and there is no research to suggest toxicity in humans. Many dermatologists deny the link to cancer.
- Many patients show the first signs of clearing within a few days and much of the effect occurs within six weeks. After treatment, you can switch to an over-the-counter cream to keep the color lighter.
Step 4. Try laser treatment
Lasers tend to be a more lasting and effective way to treat discolorations near the surface of the skin, but laser pigment treatment is not always permanent. The effect will depend on genetics, UV exposure and skin care habits. Lasers are also often more expensive than other treatments.
Step 5. Try a glycolic or salicylic acid peel
Your dermatologist can suggest these peels to target and treat damaged cells in the deepest part of the skin. Remember that such treatments are not permanent; depending on your genetic predisposition to dark spots - and exposure to UV rays - dark spots can return in a few weeks or years. Stay out of the sun and treat dark spots early to make the treatment last longer.
Method 3 of 3: Trying Natural Remedies
Step 1. Lighten your skin naturally with lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix ¼ lemon juice with a tablespoon of yogurt or honey. Wash your face with warm water to open your pores. Spread the mixture over the affected areas, leaving a thick layer of product, then let the mask dry. Rinse skin with warm water.
- You can also dampen a cotton swab with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and sugar. Rub the darkened area for two to three minutes, then rinse with water.
- For a stronger treatment, cut a lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the darkened skin. Rinse off after ten minutes.
- Avoid sun exposure after using lemons. Do these treatments at night, when your skin will not receive UV rays for a few hours.
Step 2. Use aloe vera
Spread aloe vera (aloe) gel on darkened areas to hydrate the skin and help it heal. Aloe vera works best if the cause of the browning is exposure to the sun.
Step 3. Mix grated cucumber and lemon juice
Use an almost equal amount of both ingredients, enough to cover the darkened area. Spread the mixture around your mouth and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water. This treatment can help the skin to improve.
Step 4. Use a saffron flour mask
Prepare the paste using one gram of flour, one teaspoon of turmeric powder and half a cup of curd. Spread the paste on the dark area. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water.
Step 5. Use an oatmeal scrub
Prepare a scrub with a tablespoon of oatmeal, a teaspoon of tomato juice and a teaspoon of curds. Mix the ingredients well. Gently rub into the skin for three to five minutes. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
- Don't forget to moisturize your skin!
- Treat your skin with care. Don't rub hard or you'll end up with marks and bruises around your mouth.
- The exfoliation may hurt a little on the first try, but you get used to it.