What are freckles? What is the meaning of freckles on lips? Read on for these answers and more on the relationship between Freckles and cancer. Learn the best ways to remove freckles on lips naturally, permanently and fast.
What is a Lip Freckle?
A lip freckle medically known as labial melanotic macule is a small dark spot that comes about when a cluster of small skin pigment cells form under the surface of the thin skin of the lips. Freckles on lips tend to be more noticeable because the skin on lips is usually thin and light than other areas of the body. They can appear on the top or bottom lip but are more prominent on the bottom lips because of the direct exposure to sunlight.
Lip freckles are brownish or black spots that are not natural like birthmarks. Freckles on lips may range in color from dark brown, black or grey. They can appear anywhere in the body other than lips. They usually appear after a period of exposure to sunlight but occasionally may be a significant sign of a serious health disorder.
Freckles on Lips Meaning
Freckles are common and should only be a significant occurrence if they are of sudden occurrence. They might be related to several conditions that cause the skin to be pigmented like skin cancers. One of the conditions known as Xeroderma pigmentosa can cause dark freckles when a person is exposed to the sun.
In Peutz- Jgher syndrome: an inherited condition that puts people at the risk of developing harmatomatous polyps in the stomach, pancreas, breast, ovaries and the colon. People with Peutzt- Jegher syndrome are prone to dark brown freckling on the edges of the mouth and the lips. If you recently noticed a lip freckle while you have no history or genetic predisposition to freckling, you should get them checked by a dermatologist as they might be a red flag for cancer.
Are Freckles on Lips Normal?
Are lip freckles normal? Can you get freckles on your lips? Lip freckles are normal and not a cause for alarm unless they appear suddenly or change color. Freckles are usually genetic and develop early in childhood from ages 2-5. Take a good history from your parents and siblings to find out if you had freckles in childhood. You can also check for freckles in other parts of your body. If the answer to the two quests above is positive, it probably means that your skin freckling could be as a result of sun damage. Be sure to always wear sunscreen and lip balm to protect your skin from sun exposure. I recommend that you wear sunscreen or moisturizers with SPF of 30 or more to protect the rest of your face from harmful UV rays.
Freckles on Lips and Cancer
Lip cancer can cause dark spots on the lips. They are not uncommon but are often overlooked as non melanoma skin cancers. The most common types being Basal cell carcinoma and Squamous cell Carcinoma. Men who are more than 50 years are at a higher risk of getting lip freckles due to lip cancer.
Lip cancer makes 0.6% of all cancers in the U.S. According to skincare.org, “The lower lip is 12 times more likely to be affected due to exposure to sunlight with greater tobacco and alcohol use.” Treatments for lip cancers include radiation, surgery and cryotherapy.
Here are things you must know about lip melanoma;
- They are the most deadly
- If left untreated can spread to other parts
- Appear as a new freckle or change of color of an existing freckle
- Can appear even with no exposure to sunlight
Cancerous lip freckles appear to be different compared to those in other parts on the body. To determine whether a lip freckle could turn to be cancerous or a lip melanoma, here is a simple rule known as the ABCD melanoma detection rule;
A is for asymmetry– look for spots that do not have symmetry. One side tends to be larger than the other.
B is for border– freckle on the lip that appears to be spreading or with an irregular edge
C is for color-lip freckles that appear to be having different colors such as black, blue, red, white or grey.
D is for diameter– check out for freckles that seem to be growing bigger with time.
The Glasgow 7-point checklist
- Change in size
- Irregular shape
- Irregular colour
- Diameter greater than 7mm
- Change in sensation
If you have lip freckles that fit the above description and characteristics in using the assessment tools provided, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible for more history taking, examination and Biospy for proper diagnosis to be made and proper management thereafter depending on the biopsy results.
Causes of Lip Freckles
There are no solid facts on the causes of lip freckles because lip discoloration is considered more of a cosmetic issue rather than a medical condition.
The most common cause of lip freckles is exposure to sunlight. Exposure to Ultra violet rays penetrates the thin skin on lips damaging the protective protein collagen. It might take years before you notice a freckle due to sun damage years back. This is the case of mature or aging skin. Sun damage or poisoning causes abnormal cell functioning that leads to discoloration.
Sun damage causes precipitation and accumulation of a natural skin pigment called melanin. Melanin provides protection against UV rays. This means that you are likely to see more freckles during the hot seasons as compared to the cold ones.
Here are a number of reasons that may cause freckles on lips
- Hormonal imbalances in women can cause freckles on lips. Melasma is a common skin problem in pregnant women that produces brown spots on the skin including lips. This might be also be caused by use of birth control
- Sun damage / age spots. This is the most common cause as discussed above. It causes black or brown spots that are usually harmless and can be easily prevented by wearing sunscreen.
- Liver spots
- Amalgam and graphite tattoos are very common in the US population. They most usually appear on the inside lip. Good news is that dark spots on the lips caused by amalgam tattoos can be removed by laser treatment.
- Smoker’s melanosis is the type of dark lip discoloration that is caused by smoking. The only way of this is to quit smoking which lowers your risk of getting mouth cancer; another cause of lip freckles.
- Injuries due to biting, sucking and allergic reactions can cause lip freckles. Bruises from these injuries turn into dark lip discoloration. This is more common in African- Americas who have more melanin pigment. This however disappears with time.
- Medical conditions. There are several medical conditions that may cause lip freckles. These are however very rare. Here is a list of medical conditions that may cause lip freckles.
- Addison’s disease
- Peutz Jegher syndromw
- Laugier- Hunzieker syndrome
- Actinic cheilitis or Sailor man’s lip
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Cardiac diseases like moynihan’s syndrome
- Oral cancer or squamous cell carcinoma. This happens at a very small percentage. According to the oralcancerfoundation.org, “Patients with oral malignant melanoma often recall having an existing oral pigmentation months to years before diagnosis, and the condition may even have elicited prior comment from physicians or dentists.”
Best Way to Remove Freckles on Lips
Whether a lip freckle is malignant or not, it still remains stuck with you. After the biopsy results you should be able to make a decision on how to remove or improve the freckles. If malignant, they can be removed by surgery, radiation or cryotherapy.
If the biopsy is negative, it should be a reason to smile while trying to find how to conceal lip freckles with laser treatment, cosmetic, chemical peels or naturally. There are many make up tricks to conceal freckles. Here are some of the treatments available if you decide to visit the dermatologist for lip freckle removal.
Chemical peel to remove lip freckles
This method uses different chemical components to peel off the affected skin. There are two types of chemical peeling; superficial and deep. Deep chemical peels and the most effective but take quite some time to heal. Superficial chemical peels for lip freckles take shorter time to be done but require to be done a number of times for significant change to be seen.
Burning lip freckles with laser is the most effective with instant results. However this might be painful and costly for some people. Healing form laser treatment of lip freckles takes about 5days to heal but lasts for a long period (up to 5 years). This is actually worth it considering you only have to do it once in five years.
Topical treatment by Bleaching
Your dermatologist will prescribe creams that contain bleaching agents to get rid of freckles. They are applied to the freckles and lighten their appearance with time. Meladerma is highly reviewed as the best cream for freckle removal.
Liquid nitrogen for lip freckles
Application of liquid nitrogen can be used to remove lip freckles. Liquid nitrogen is very cold similar to dry ice. It is applied over the freckles for a few seconds once a week over a period of time. You will notice a change in pigmentation of the freckles on lips. The skin over the lips will turn dark then peel off revealing new skin which is usually red at first but will return to normal in a few days. This treatment is done once and is permanent. Too much liquid nitrogen may cause the lip freckles to be worse.
How to Get Rid of Freckles Naturally, Permanently and Fast
As you can see, medical methods of removing freckles are effective but very costly and at times painful. Home remedies for lip freckles are best and inexpensive. They are considered safe, natural and easy methods to remove melanotic macules and brown spots on lips. Here is how to get rid of lip freckles naturally, permanently and fast;
- Application of freshly squeezed lemon juice directly on the freckle will help to bleach it over time. Lemon juice exfoliates, bleaches the dark spots skin on lips to promote new skin
- Essential oils and other massaging oil especially those with vitamin E work well to balance out production of melanin and collagen to even out the freckle
- Red onion- Use a slice of red onion to gently rub on the lip freckle. It fades the freckles over time. You can grate and extract juice from the red onion, mix this with apple cider vinegar and apply it directly to the spots.
- Sour milk or cream can be used to mask the lip and other parts of the face to get rid of freckles on lips fast. Do this twice daily for the best results
- Castor oil and baking soda
- Sesame seeds
- Papaya for lightening
- Milk- it is a natural whitening agent
- Honey and wheat germ
Dark Freckle on Lips – Freckle on Bottom Lip
Dark freckle on lips are found more on the lower lip as compared to the upper lips. This is because the lower lip is more exposed to the sun. Freckles on bottom lip so not have any difference in significance as compared to those on the upper lip. The same urgency you would use to evaluate a freckle on the upper lip should be used for the bottom lip freckles. Freckle on the lower lip tend to be more deeply pigmented.
Adam Lambert Lip Freckles
Adam Lambert is a famous singer and songwriter, who is considered handsome by many despite the presence of freckles on his entire body. Adam Lambert lip freckles are so prominent and are even considered special by some of his fans.