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Lip discoloration
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Lip discoloration

I am 40yrs of age and of chinese origin but born in England. My lips started going pale (loss of colour) in early 1990s, also they became always dry. I have to apply lip balm constantly after meals, in the morning etc and basically cannot live without lip balm. Dermatologist at the time said he did not think it was serious and nothing could be done about it. Allergy clinic did not reveal anything. There are also small (approx 1mm x 3mm) brown marks on both lips. They are not uncomfortable at all and not raised - completely flushed into the lips. Upper lip is 100% pale, bottom half of lower lip about 50% pale, there are 4-5 brown marks on both lips. One I notice has appeared only this year and is particularly dark brown. Most of the brown marks are on the part of the lips that have lost colour but 2 are sited where there is still colour.

I do not smoke or drink, never been pregnant, did have one case of bad sunburn on lips in early 1990s so perhaps this may have been the cause although do not sunbathe very much.

Dermatologist has booked a biopsy for next month, I have been particularly concerned that there will be a noticeable scar. What is the likelihood? Also should biopsy be on one of the brown marks or on some of the pale section of the lip or on both. Are the brown marks in fact the cause of the paleness and dryness so if the brown marks were completely removed would the colour and moisture return to the lips or is the loss of colour irreversible?
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To be honest, I am really not sure what you have.  There are conditions which produce lip freckles, but these aren't usually associated with loss of color.  The converse is true as well (loss of color doesn't come with freckles.)  I think your dermatologist is similarly perplexed, which is why a biopsy is being recommended.  A small biopsy (perhaps 2 mm) is not likely to leave much of a visible scar.  I suspect the biopsy will be done on a freckle, though perhaps a second on on a pale, unfreckled area may be of value too.  Hopefully, the test or tests will shed light on the nature of your problem, and possibly point to a modes of treatment not yet tried.

Best.

Dr. Rockoff

3 Comments
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For the last month or two dark spots have appeared on my bottom lip and a dark ring underneath the outter area of the top lip as often seen on new born babies. The spots are visible and detering from my smile. I do not smoke, drink tea or coffee. Im not sure what to do, i've been usuing cocoa butter to try and remove the spots and discoloration. What can i do and what is causing the discoloration?
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Avatar_n_tn
For the last month or two dark spots have appeared on my bottom lip and a dark ring underneath the outter area of the top lip as often seen on new born babies. The spots are visible and detering from my smile. I do not smoke, drink tea or coffee. Im not sure what to do, i've been usuing cocoa butter to try and remove the spots and discoloration. What can i do and what is causing the discoloration?
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A related discussion, lips was started.
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A related discussion, Lip Discoloration was started.
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