Pigmentation Around Mouth: How You Can Reduce it?


You might be doing everything to have healthy and beautiful skin, but still have to deal with issues such as pigmentation around mouth. You might feel embarrassed or tired of figuring out a solution to get rid of it. However, this is a type of hyperpigmentation that can be cured. Keep reading to know the more what causes dark sin around mouth, natural remedies and other ways to get rid of them.

What Causes Pigmentation Around Mouth? 

  • Being constantly exposed to the sun can cause dark patches around the mouth. 
  • Living in extreme cold weather conditions can cause skin discolouration due to licking or smacking of the lips. 
  • Taking certain medications can also cause pigmentation around the mouth. E.g. anti-malaria [1] and tricyclic antidepressants [2]. 
  • The presence of chemicals in some of the ointments can also cause hyperpigmentation as a side-effect.
  • As pregnant women are more prone to hormonal changes, they can get affected too. 
  • Medical conditions like haemochromatosis and Addison’s disease can also lead to dark patches around the mouth, elbows, knees, knuckles, inside the cheeks and toes etc. 
  • Any trauma to the skin through infections, burns, spots and acne can cause dark skin around mouth. 


Ways to Get Rid of Pigmentation Around Mouth

1. Medically Prescribed Ointments

A dermatologist can examine you and prescribe the ointment that will work best to reduce dark patches around mouth. It may contain hydroquinone as this drug lowers the production of tyrosinase and limits the cells that create the pigment, resulting in fading the dark patches.

2. OTC Skin-Brightening Creams

There are numerous Over-the-Counter(OTC) skin lightening and brightening creams that can effectively reduce the darkening of area around the mouth. You can look for ingredients like vitamin C, kojic acid (1), curcumin, niacinamide, glabridin (a liquorice extract), grape seed extract (2) and azelaic acid (3) etc. Always go through the directions, safety measures and instructions on the manual. Carefully read it and then apply.

Word Of Caution

People who have sensitive skin should restrain from using hydroquinone or kojic acid products unless advised by a dermatologist. At the same time, those allergic to gluten or suffering from Celiac disease should avoid using products with azelaic acid derived from wheat. Do not use creams that contain corticosteroids such as mometasone, fluticasone or clobetasone without the advice of your dermatologist.

Natural Remedies to Remove Pigmentation Around Mouth

Several natural ingredients can help in skin lightening, especially the area around your mouth. Given below are some of the natural remedies that you can try. Remember to take a patch test first before using them. Avoid using them if you have sensitive skin.


Potato is an excellent natural remedy to reduce the dark patches around the mouth due to its bleaching properties. Grate one potato or half, depending on the area of skin darkening. Now, squeeze it and extract the juice. Apply it gently and wash after 20 minutes. 

Aloe Vera

A component known as Aloesin derived from aloe vera can aid in skin lightening around the mouth. Aloe vera is also soothing and hydrating to the skin. It will reduce dullness and pigmentation in the area if used regularly. Now, apply pure aloe vera gel to the affected area and wash later.


Gram Flour 

Gram Flour, also known as besan, is known for its skin lightening properties. Make a paste using two teaspoons of gram flour, half a teaspoon of turmeric powder and a few drops of milk or water. Apply it to the darkened area and wash once it dries.


Papaya can help decrease pigmentation and blemishes. The enzyme papain in papaya is a great exfoliator and helps remove the dead skin cells making skin glow and soft. Take some raw papaya pulp and mix it with a few drops of rose water. Apply the mask, let it dry and wash off later.

Exfoliation Can Help Lighten the Darkening Around Mouth

By regularly exfoliating the area around your mouth with a gentle exfoliator, you can lighten the darkened area and get rid of the dead skin too. You can choose a chemical exfoliant too. It would help people looking for an option where they don’t have to scrape their skin and cause damage. Exfoliate once in 2-3 weeks or once a month. Keep in mind to never use two exfoliants at the same time. Check with your dermatologist if you wish to do so, as experimenting with different exfoliants is not the answer. 

Laser Treatments

Another effective way to lighten the dark area around mouth is to try laser treatments. It won’t erase it permanently, but it can lighten the pigmentation. Genetics, exposure to sun and skincare routine will also determine the kind of results one can get from laser treatments.

One such treatment that can help treat pigmentation is the Fraxel laser treatment. It is a non-invasive, microscopic laser that encourages collagen regeneration and elastin growth. It also resurfaces the skin tone and reduces the dark spots. 

It’s a Wrap

Pigmentation around mouth can be because of various reasons such as being exposed to the sun, melasma, pregnancy and even side effects of certain medications. You can try the home remedies discussed above to help even out your skin tone around the mouth.

You can also reach out to a dermatologist if you feel that the darkening around mouth can be due to medications or a medical condition. She/he can offer the best treatment to help you achieve healthy and glowing skin. Remember that depending on your situation, it may take some time. Have patience and choose an option that best suits you. 


  1. Can facial pigmentation go away?

There are various medicated treatments and cosmetic procedures that will help to get rid of facial pigmentation. The safer way is to talk to your dermatologist, who can guide you on the proper treatment and products. 

  1. Is it possible to remove pigmentation around mouth permanently? 

There are several methods to remove pigmentation, but the extent and cause of your issue are vital factors determining if the pigmentation will fade, get cured permanently, or stay forever. Only a dermatologist can evaluate your specific situation and guide you with the best possible treatment. 

  1. Will scrubbing help get rid of pigmentation?

Gentle exfoliation is beneficial to eliminate pigmentation by using the right products the right way. Rubbing harder or aggressively scrubbing can cause skin irritation along with increasing pigmentation. 

  1. Can toothpaste be applied to remove your pigmentation? 

There is no concrete evidence or research related to this. Applying toothpaste can cause itching, redness or skin irritation. Let’s stick to using toothpaste to brush teeth and nothing else. 

  1. How to lighten pigmentation fast?

We wish we could lie that you can lighten pigmentation fast, but that would be untrue. Specific pigmentations can fade at a faster rate, whereas others take longer. It will vary from person to person.



Chaitali Nayak

Chaitali Nayak

A writer and a skincare fanatic, Chaitali believes that words and kindness can transform the world. She has a master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations and has worked for various advertising agencies and digital marketing firms. With the help of expert dermatologists at CureSkin, she works towards creating content that helps eliminate misinformation related to skincare. The aim is to educate yet bring something exciting and new every time for the readers. When not busy writing, you can find her talking to her plants, eating, drawing or watching movies.