Hyperpigmentation is something that many people will experience throughout their life, and the area around the mouth is particularly prone to this condition. Patches of skin can become noticeably darker when an excess of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin colour, is produced and deposited in these areas. For some, this isn’t an issue, but if it is making you feel self-conscious about your appearance then don’t worry, you’re not alone and there are ways to treat it and reduce the discoloration.
What causes hyperpigmentation around the mouth?
One of the main causes of hyperpigmentation is sun exposure, and as the face is commonly the most exposed part of the body, the skin around the mouth will quite often be the area where dark spots start to appear. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun exposure (and tanning beds) increases the risk of these dark spots appearing, particularly when sun protection is not used. Due to a higher rate of melanin production, people with dark skin are more likely to be affected by hyperpigmentation than people with light skin, so it’s incredibly important to use sun protection such as sun cream, no matter what colour skin you have. When it comes to sun damaged skin, prevention is better than cure.
Sun exposure isn’t the only cause of hyperpigmentation around the mouth though. Hormone changes during pregnancy can increase melanin production, as can certain medications and chemotherapy drugs, which often results in dark patches of skin appearing on the face. Injury and inflammation of the skin can also lead to what is known as ‘post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation’, with acne being a common cause, particularly around the mouth.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation around mouth
There are a number of ways in which you can get rid of hyperpigmentation around the mouth. A dermatologist may recommend one of the following:
To get rid of hyperpigmentation around the mouth, you will need to stick to a consistent, daily skincare routine. First, you will need to massage Epara’s skin hydrating serum into the area of hyperpigmentation, and then put a pea-sized amount of our moisturising face cream onto your fingertips and apply it to the same area with gentle upwards motions. Both of these products are proven to reduce hyperpigmentation around the mouth area, and results can be noticeable in as little as two weeks when they are used together every day.
Epara Skincare products are designed for women of colour, and with hyperpigmentation being such a common issue for women with darker skin due to their higher rate of melanin production, our products are designed to tackle the physical effects of this condition, and many others. View our full range of skincare products to find one that works for you.
Pigmentation removal laser therapy usually involves multiple treatment sessions using a focussed light on the affected area. A specialist laser is used to draw pigment to the surface, which then flakes off after a few days. This is usually only recommended for hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage, and you should always consult your doctor before opting for laser therapy.
Azelaic acid, a naturally occuring acid found in grains such as barley and wheat, has anti-inflammatory properties which make it well suited for treating hyperpigmentation caused by acne scarring as it can stop discoloured cells from populating.
Retinoids are derivatives of Vitamin A, which is a well known ingredient for tackling issues associated with ageing skin. As an antioxidant, retinoids encourage new, healthy cells to come to the surface of the skin, which helps to improve its appearance as the new skin cells will be more evenly pigmented.
Kojic acid is known to inhibit the production of melanin by preventing the production of tyrosine, therefore resulting in skin lightening side effects. Kojic acid is made from a combination of multiple types of fungi, and can be used to treat many other skin conditions too, but it can have many adverse side effects and you should consult a dermatologist before using it.
There are a few home remedies that are associated with treating hyperpigmentation, but you shouldn't expect outstanding results overnight, and in many cases, depending on the severity of your hyperpigmentation, these remedies will not be enough to get rid of hyperpigmentation around the mouth. If, however, you wanted to try some home remedies first, here are a few to start with:
- Lemon and honey Mix the juice of a quarter of a lemon with a tablespoon of honey. Open your pores by washing your face with warm water, then apply the lemon and honey mixture to the area of hyperpigmentation and allow it to dry, then rinse again.
- Lime and cucumber Mix together one tablespoon of lime juice and one tablespoon of cucumber. Apply the mixture to the affected area and leave for 20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
- Turmeric and flour Mix together 2 tablespoons of gram flour, half a tablespoon of turmeric powder and half a cup of yoghurt. Apply this paste to the affected area and leave in place for half an hour, then rinse off with warm water.
While there are many ways to try and treat hyperpigmentation around the mouth, it is often best to speak to a dermatologist in order to find the right treatment for your specific situation. To find out more about how our products help to treat hyperpigmentation, feel free to contact us today or learn more about our product range here.