Skin Care

Kisser Woes! How To Get Rid Of Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth Once And For All?

Here is a stack of time-tested remedies for hyperpigmentation around your mouth!

Written by Rani Premkumar

On Apr 25, 2023 – 12 minutes read

Kisser Woes How to get rid of hyperpigmentation around the mouth once and for all - feature

If a face can wreck a thousand ships- then hyperpigmentation around the mouth can wreck your confidence big time!

Women give so much attention to their appearance as it boosts their self-esteem and confidence. It is our dream to wake up in the morning and look into the mirror and admire our flawless skin. It affords us a brilliant start to our workday – whether in the office or at home. Even during this hybrid working age, when you have the option of working remotely, we are definitely worried about showing our faces for fear of judgment, even if it is once in a while for a video conference. We are women and we want to shine, no matter what. Anything that dampens our beauty quotient will be struck off with a warrior spirit.

Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth: What Is Hyperpigmentation?

The mirror on the wall never lies. The discoloration around the kisser is definitely a deal-breaker. Technically called hyperpigmentation, which literally means the excess of pigmentation, this is quite irksome. You will feel like running away to the Middle East and taking refuge in a yashmak to hide your face and avoid anyone staring at you.  

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is the excessive production of melanin which shows up as darkness in different parts of the body. As the skin around the mouth is the most sensitive, hyperpigmentation shows up easily. The skin tone looks uneven and patchy. The philtrum (the space between your upper lips and nose) appears darker, giving an illusory mustache. However, mostly the discoloration is not a health concern or cause for worry. 

What Causes Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth?

Genetics and other factors play an important role in pigmentation, among other things that include hormones, sun exposure, lifestyles, infections, and environmental changes. 

The Sun Exposure

Dermatologists have concluded from many studies that it is exposure to the sun without proper protection like with sunscreen can cause hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Since the face is usually the most exposed and sensitive part of the body, the skin around the mouth is where dark spots start to show.

The ultraviolet rays from the sun are the main culprit behind hyperpigmentation. It is quite surprising that darker-skinned people are more likely to be affected by hyperpigmentation than fair-skinned people, so it is extremely important for everyone with every skin tone to use sun protection such as sunscreen. Sunscreen can potentially reduce your chances of getting hyperpigmentation in the skin around your mouth.

Skin Diseases And Injury 

Haemochromatosis and Addison’s disease are skin diseases that affect various areas of the body. Hemochromatosis(1) is a disorder that causes the body to produce extra iron, resulting in uneven skin tone.

The darkening of the skin in Addison’s disease, which is referred to as “bronzing”, usually develops in the areas of the skin that are exposed to direct sunlight, making the area around the mouth vulnerable. In Addison’s disease, the skin changes and the body produces less cortisol which makes the pituitary glands produce more MSH(melanocyte stimulating hormone) which leads to the overproduction of melanocytes. This in turn results in the darkening of the complexion of the person.

You may have hyperpigmentation once you heal from severe injury, acne, rash, chemical burn, thermal burn or infection around the mouth.  This post-traumatic or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a common aftermath of skin injuries. Acne vulgaris, fungal infections, psoriasis, dermatomyositis,   candidiasis, etc. are also reasons for hyperpigmentation around the mouth.


The condition called melasma(2) results in dark brown and grayish-brown patches on the forehead, cheeks, and upper lip. Melasma tends to occur most often on the face like around the upper lips and chin. The hormonal changes in women are the culprits in this. It is also known as the mask of pregnancy. These can occur during pregnancy, as well as while taking oral contraceptives for birth control or hormone replacement therapy. Sun exposure can worsen the condition.

Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth Due To Medications

Oral contraceptives can cause darkening of the skin around the mouth and other medications like hormone replacements, especially estrogen, chemotherapy drugs, and doxycycline, an antibiotic medicine, can increase sun sensitivity. 

Lifestyle & Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

  • Hyperpigmentation around the mouth can also be associated with vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin B12 and vitamin D. 
  • Allergic reactions to certain creams also may result in the condition. 
  • Hyperpigmentation around the mouth can also be due to chronic perioral dermatitis. 
  • The constant usage of masks during the covid 19 waves has also been a contributory factor in this regard. 
  • Not applying sunscreen before stepping out into the sun is another factor contributing to hyperpigmentation around the mouth.

Who All Are Vulnerable To Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth?

People with darker skin are more prone to hyperpigmentation, due to high melanin production compared to fair skin. The hyperpigmentation around the mouth is more prominent during the summer season. This is due to heightened sun exposure, which can stimulate the production of melanin even more so as to make the hyperpigmentation more visible. Those who travel more or have chances to get more exposure to the UV rays of the sun will be more prone to developing hyperpigmentation around the mouth.

Who All Are Vulnerable To Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth?

Prevention Of Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

Hyperpigmentation can be prevented with the following methods:

  • Wearing sunscreen daily can prevent hyperpigmentation or melasma caused by exposure to harsh sunlight.
  • Avoiding tanning beds and the hours when the sun is the harshest- like the hours between 11.30 am and 3 pm while going out.
  • Preferring public transport or cars during hot summers instead of biking or walking.
  • Using aloe vera gel or curd if in case your skin was exposed to harsh sunlight.
  • Avoiding smoking can save your skin around your mouth.
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat to protect the facial skin.
  • Addressing any underlying nutritional deficiencies like B12 and taking supplements for the same.
  • Using mild products like soaps, cleansers, moisturizers, etc on the skin can also prevent hyperpigmentation around the mouth. 
  • Taking the advice of a doctor while using birth control pills or hormones that are known to cause discoloration of the skin.

Treatment For Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

If your lifestyle changes and home remedies do not work, you can consult a dermatologist who can examine you and prescribe some ointment for fading dark spots around the mouth. It may contain hydroquinone to decrease the production of tyrosinase and limit the cells that create pigment, which helps fade pigmentation. You can also use a combination of topical moisturizers and topical mild corticosteroids.

Treatment for hyperpigmentation around the mouth includes

Laser Therapy

  • Laser therapy is effective in cases of hyperpigmentation other than that due to genetics. The results are temporary though. It can obviate dark spots dramatically.  Fraxel laser treatment is exclusive to treating pigmentations. Though health insurance does not cover cosmetic procedures, some institutions do offer patient financing plans. The treatment may cost you between $2500 for ablative (involving surgery) and $1400 for non-ablative laser treatment for hyperpigmentation around the month in the U.S.
  • Prescription-strength retinoids or hydroquinone
  • Azelaic acid to reduce discoloration and inflammation
  • Kojic acid for melasma and age spots. 
  • Chemical peels are also recommended to help exfoliate the skin and reduce the appearance of pigmentation

Top Products For Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

1. Kiehl’s  Clearly Dark Spot Solution

This one is regarded as best for all skin types, bringing hydration and dark spot reduction. It is priced at around $71.99 on Amazon. It blends with other products. But the quantity is less. The most potent form of  Vitamin C in the product helps in spot reduction.

2. Skinceuticals Discoloration Defence

Priced at $107 at Walmart, this is an ideal product for hyperpigmentation around the mouth and it can be used during pregnancy. It contains tranexamic acid and HEPES, a synthetically-derived acid. 

3. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid

It exfoliates and breaks down discolored skin cells and works great for hyperpigmentation around the mouth. It has the added benefit of stimulating collagen production over time. Super affordable not to mention. It costs around $21 on Amazon. It can be used once daily.

Best Products For Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

4. Murad Rapid Dark Spot Corrector Serum

Hydroquinone is effective, but has some drawbacks; it can’t be used for long. This is the best product you can get your hands on which has no HQ. It relies on a brightening peptide, vitamin C, and a niacinamide complex. There is the inclusion of light-reflecting pearls, which instantly make skin look brighter. It also boosts radiance but can get sticky in consistency. It is priced at $27 on Sephora.

5. Facial Radiance Niacinamide Dark Spot Serum

One of the good products for hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Great for all skin types and priced at $42 on Amazon, this serum relies on niacinamide which is a  great spot-fading ingredient that just also hydrates and reduces redness plus inflammation.

Home Remedies For Hyperpigmentation Around Mouth

If you are anyone like me you would want to go nature’s way in treating your skin probs. Natural home remedies are cost-effective and free of harmful side effects and allergies as it is free from chemicals and artificial skin irritants. 

Coconut Oil

Using coconut oil and coconut water will lighten the black areas around the mouth naturally which is a great home remedy for hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Rubbing coconut oil on the affected area around the mouth every night before going to bed and washing it up in the morning is a remedy that you can easily try.

Repeat this every night to get rid of dark skin around the mouth effectively. Coconut water can be used as a toner as it makes the skin soft and supple. Washing your face with coconut water at least twice a day will also help you with the hyperpigmentation of skin around the mouth. 


Making turmeric into a paste with rose water and applying it around the mouth also helps to reduce hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Turmeric is a known antiseptic and helps to even the skin tone. It is used in the traditional Indian system of Ayurveda in many medicines. 


Using medicines that contain saffron extracts will also help in hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Saffron is well known for its skin-lightening properties when applied or ingested. Proprietary ayurvedic creams like kumkumadi (3) cream or oil contain saffron and will work wonders in reducing pigmentation around the mouth.

Aloe Vera

Using aloe Vera gel is also a popular remedy for this kisser woe. It smoothes, heals, and lightens the skin. It also prevents and heals the rashes and pimples which sure make the skin around the mouth look darker. Aloe vera act as the best hydrating treatment that works best for hyperpigmentation around the mouth.

Skin Lightening Creams

There are many over-the-counter skin-lightening creams that can effectively reduce hyperpigmentation around the mouth. You can look for ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid, extracts of turmeric, licorice, and grape seed; niacinamide, and azelaic acid. These will block the production of tyrosinase, which the skin utilizes to produce melanin. You may apply it twice a day or as directed. 

Skin Lightening Serums

There are different serums that work for hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Serums that contain vitamin C, niacinamide, and other skin-lightening ingredients can lighten the skin and reduce pigmentation. A proper skin care regimen and skin hygiene with the C-T-M (cleansing, toning, moisturizing) with the addition of skin-lightening creams or serum will work wonders.

You can also exfoliate the skin twice every week. While exfoliating make sure not to aggressively rub on your skin as it will do damage to the skin. Natural exfoliators like olive oil mixed in sugar are something you can pick from the kitchen counter and start rubbing on your face. Chemical-free and handy!


Shredding the potato to extract its juice to be applied to the areas affected is a well-known remedy for hyperpigmentation around the mouth.

Lifestyle changes To Reduce Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth

Sunscreen – sunscreen-sunscreen!

Cleansing, toning, and moisturizing: Including sunscreen following your cleansing, the toning, and moisturizing regimen will act as a precautionary measure towards hyperpigmentation around the mouth. When you step out into the sun always carry one with you as you can reapply it before it wears off. Sun exposure makes existing pigmentation darker and can cause new areas of dark pigmentation to become prominent. Make sure you opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen containing titanium dioxide or zinc oxide with a good SPF like SPF 30 plus, to make sure that your sun-kissed skin is well protected.

Protective Clothing  

Some recommend covering your body with a hat, gloves, scarves, umbrella, and sunglasses every time you go out. 

Swallow Your Vitamins

As Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D deficiencies are associated with hyperpigmentation around the mouth, taking them as supplements or in dietary form will help. Fishes like sardines, tuna, rainbow trout, sockeye salmon, eggs, dairy products, milk, mushroom, beetroot, lean meat, etc. are loaded with vitamin B12. And the best dietary sources of vitamin D are oily fish, including salmon, mackerel, sardines, egg yolks, red meat, and liver. 


If you are into wearing masks around your mouth and nose, make sure it is disposable ones that are sanitized and dry. Do not reuse disposable masks. You should avoid wearing masks that are damp as it may cause skin issues. So if you sweat profusely make sure you have masks in your clutch that you can wear while disposing of the damp one.

Choosy About Your Skin Care

Basic skin hygiene measures like removing the makeup before sleeping, cleansing the skin, toning, and moisturizing it- are all mandatory lifestyle skincare steps you should adopt. You should allow the skin to breathe and use less harsh products on your skin. You can choose darker shades of lipstick to camouflage the hyperpigmentation around the mouth. Use of some lip balms and toothpaste can cause hyperpigmentation around the mouth commonly called the ‘ lip licker’s dermatitis ‘.

No smoking: Refraining from smoking is also a positive lifestyle change that you can adopt to save the skin around the mouth. The smoke and the heat can irritate the skin around your mouth and cause or add to your hyperpigmentation. Your skin and body will thank you for it.


How do you get rid of hyperpigmentation around the mouth?

You can try over-the-counter drugs or home remedies for hyperpigmentation around the mouth. You can also make some lifestyle changes which will also help you in this regard.

Does hyperpigmentation around the mouth go away?

Most of it which is not genetic will go away. It depends on the efficacy of the treatment and the changes you are willing to adopt which will determine the permanent removal of the hyperpigmentation around the mouth.

How can I reduce the pigmentation around my mouth naturally?

You can try home remedies which include natural ingredients like aloe vera gel or turmeric powder to reduce the pigmentation around your mouth. The good thing about natural ingredients is that it is chemical-free and will be devoid of side effects. 

Does Vitamin- C serum remove pigmentation around the mouth?

It depends on how serious your pigmentation issue is.  But Vitamin C serum will definitely reduce the dark spots and pigmentation by making it lighter.  

It’s A Wrap

Hyperpigmentation around the mouth can be prevented with lifestyle changes and a few home remedies. It is treatable and needn’t have to be the cause of your insomnia, really. Beware of what you apply on your face, that’s all. You deserve that pretty smile yourself. Your mirror will agree. Show your best self, every time! Cheers

  1. Elsevier B.V.(2023).Hemochromatosis: Diagnosis and management. Available at:
  2. Springer Nature Switzerland AG.(2023).Melasma: A Review. Available at:
  3. journal of drug discovery and development.(2023).A Review on Kumkumadi oil. Available at:

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Rani is a women’s lifestyle coach with a knack for translating high fashion into accessible, everyday looks. She has helped countless women embrace their personal style, fostering confidence and self-expression.

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