Despite a great skin texture, have you noticed dark rings around your mouth or the corner of your lips? Do they appear prominent even after you cover them with makeup?
Pigmentation around the mouth is one of the most common skin concerns among women. However, such patches are usually harmless. The best part is they can be treated effectively with Ayurvedic herbal formulations.
Let’s take a closer look at what causes pigmentation around your mouth and how you can treat them using natural ingredients.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
“Recovering from pigmentation around the mouth within a week is rare,”
- Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix
What Causes Pigmentation Around The Mouth?
As per Ayurveda’s tridosha theory, your body is governed by three vital energies and an imbalance in those is called a dosha; Vata, Pitta, and Kapha doshas. Your overall health largely depends on the equilibrium of the tridoshas. Any vitiation occurring in your bodily doshas result in various disorders, including skin issues like skin pigmentation.
Now, let’s understand what causes darkening of the skin around the mouth from an Ayurvedic perspective:
1. When your lips are blackish brown, then it may be due to chronic smoking . It results in the build-up of toxins and oxidative stress in your lips, which also indicates the vitiation of all three doshas.
2. When your lips have red inflammatory patches along the margins, then it is caused by Pitta derangement.
3. When your lips have multiple pale brown patches, then it indicates worms in the colon or poor digestion caused by weakened Pitta.
4. If your lips turn blue or purple, then it means there is a lack of oxygen. It further indicates a lack of blood circulation or in some cases heart disorders  caused by aggravated Vata and Kapha.
5. Dark sunspots occur when your lips are exposed to chronic direct sunlight, which aggravates Pitta and causes the overproduction of melanin in your lips.
6. Stress and tension aggravate Vata dosha, which in turn causes derangement in Pitta and Kapha doshas. This may lead to constipation, improper blood circulation, and toxin build-up in your body, resulting in darkened lips.
Other factors which can aggravate pigmentation around your mouth:
- Imbalanced and wrongful diets
- Using harsh chemical-based cosmetics and lipsticks
- Harsh weather conditions
- Certain medications such as antimalarial drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, etc.
So, based on the color and contour of lips, underlying disorders, imbalances in your doshas, and their causative factors can be identified. This way your Ayurvedic doctor can suggest dosha-specific herbal treatments to help you deal with the condition.
How Do You Get Rid Of Pigmentation Around The Mouth?
1. Ayurvedic Remedies
A. Ayurvedic Herbs
Haridra or turmeric pacifies all three doshas. Make a paste by adding rose water to a spoon of turmeric powder. Apply it on the dark patches on your lips and also around your mouth. Rinse it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes. Repeat this daily.
It pacifies elevated Pitta and Kapha doshas (mainly Pitta). Make a paste by adding some honey to a spoon of manjistha powder. Massage your lips with it for 5 minutes every day. You can also take a spoonful of manjistha powder orally on an empty stomach in the morning.
Tunga oil, also called Tamanu oil, pacifies elevated Pitta and Kapha doshas. Add 2-5 drops of tunga seed essential oil to 2-3 spoons of any carrier oil such as coconut, almond, olive or jojoba oil. Apply it on the discolored patches around your mouth daily.
It pacifies elevated Vata and Pitta doshas. Make a paste by adding 10-15 drops of kumkumadi oil to 5 gms of yashtimadhu or licorice powder. Apply it as a pack on your lips and wash it off with lukewarm water after 15 minutes.
Vedix Tip: Add normal water to licorice powder instead of kumkumadi oil to prepare a pack if you have oily skin.
Kumari or Aloe Vera pacifies all three doshas. Massage your lips with freshly extracted natural aloe vera gel every night before hitting the bed and wash it off the next morning.
6. Sarson Or Mustard Oil
It balances elevated Kapha and Vata doshas while increasing Pitta. Warm a spoonful of mustard oil and apply it around your mouth. Massage your lips for a few minutes and leave it on. Do this daily until the pigmentation vanishes.
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. Make a paste by adding water to a small spoon of Chandana powder. Apply it to your lips and allow it to dry. Later, wash it off using cold water.
8. Sita Or Shweta Durva
It balances elevated Kapha and Pitta doshas. Massage your lips daily with durvadi taila for a few minutes and leave it on. “Durvadi taila is best to treat dark inflammatory marks around your lips caused by herpes,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
You can also seek these herbs in your Ayurvedic skin care products as per your vitiated doshas to deal with pigmentation around the mouth.
B. Ayurvedic Internal Medications
- Based on the underlying causes and vitiated doshas, your Ayurvedic doctor may prescribe you internal herbal medications such as:
- Triphala , ashwagandha, shatavari, bala for eliminating nicotine from your system and boosting digestive Pitta.
- Ajwan to reduce cravings for smoke.
- Kamadugha with mouktik, chandrakala rasa, godanti bhasma, etc. which contain Pitta pacifying agents.
- Chandanasava, which is a Pitta pacifier as well as a complex enhancer.
- Vilwadi gulika, krimikuthar ras, panchatikta kashayam, nimbamritadi kashayam, etc. for worm infection and poor digestion
- Chandraprabha vati to correct hormonal imbalance-induced pigmentation.
- Kumaryasava to treat digestive disorders.
C. Ayurvedic Therapies
Based on the deeply rooted imbalances in your doshas, your Ayurvedic doctor may recommend you regular Panchakarma therapies which may include the following processes:
- Vamana (Emesis)
- Virechana (Purgation)
- Niruha Basti (Decoction enema)
- Nasya (instillation of herbal medicine through nostrils)
- Anuvasana Vasti (Oil enema)
2. Home Remedies
- Prepare a face pack by mixing ½ cup of tomato pulp, ½ cup of oatmeal and 2 spoons of olive oil. Apply it on your skin and exfoliate it gently using circular motions. Wash it off after 15-20 minutes.
- Rub the dark patches around your mouth with a slice of lemon for 5 minutes. Leave it for another 10-15 minutes and wash it off.
Lemon contains a compound called ‘Nobiletin’, which can act as a melanin inhibitor in your skin by controlling the tyrosinase production . It is more effective than kojic acid.
- Take a slice of raw potato and rub it around your mouth using circular motions for 5-10 minutes and then wash your face.
- Prepare a paste by blending freshly cut papaya pieces. Add 2-3 spoons of rose water to it and apply the mixture as a face mask. Leave it for an hour and then rinse it off.
- Mix rosewater and glycerin in equal quantities and apply the solution around your mouth. Leave it overnight and rinse it off in the morning.
- Prepare a paste by adding milk to 1-2 spoons of green peas powder. Apply it around your mouth and wash it off after half an hour.
- Prepare an ubtan by adding water to 2-3 spoons of besan (gram flour). Apply it on your face and let it dry. Later, wash it off with lukewarm water.
3. Other Treatments
A. OTC Medications
You can apply skin-lightening creams around your mouth. They contain ingredients such as kojic acid, grape seed extract, arbutin, niacinamide, azelaic acid, vitamin C, glabridin (an extract of licorice) , etc.
“If you have a gluten allergy or sensitive skin type, you should avoid any products containing azelaic acid and kojic acid,” says Dr. Zeel.
B. Medically Prescribed Treatments
Your dermatologist may also prescribe ointments containing hydroquinone. Also, based on your conditions, he may recommend any of the following treatments to manage pigmentation around your mouth.
- Laser treatments (especially, Fraxel laser type)
- Acid peels containing glycolic or salicylic acid
How Long Does It Take To Treat Pigmented Lips?
It may take around 2-6 months to treat pigmented lips. In cases such as post-inflammatory pigmentation, it may take as long as 2 years to recover from pigmentation disorders.
However, there is a certain kind of skin pigmentation called Melasma. Melasma occurs during pregnancy or a reaction in some women who are taking a certain type of oral contraceptive.
The dark patches that are caused by melasma may fade automatically after the child is born or when the person stops taking birth control pills.
“Recovering from pigmentation around the mouth within a week is rare,” says Dr. Zeel.
Tips To Reduce/Avoid Pigmentation Around Mouth
1. Exfoliate your skin regularly with gentle Ayurvedic scrubs. This prevents the build-up of dead skin cells, which can cause pigmentation around your lips.
2. Do not expose your face to direct sun for long periods. Always use a face mask or an umbrella while you step out in the scorching sun.
3. Practice yoga and meditation every day. This helps you keep your stress, doshas and resultantly your melanin secretions in balanced levels.
4. Avoid using chemical hair removal creams around your mouth. Besides darkening your skin around your mouth, these chemicals may permanently damage your skin.
5. Stop using chemical-based anti-wrinkle creams on your face. They may have ingredients that aggravate melanin production and cause pigmentation around your mouth.
6. Avoid waxing or threading around your lips overly. Sometimes, the continuous abrasion caused by these procedures may damage your skin and cause dark spots.
7. Massage your lips and area around your mouth with clarified butter or cow ghee before sleeping.
8. Eat a well-balanced diet as per your Ayurvedic doshas and drink adequate amounts of water.
9. Stay away from tobacco and smoking.
10. Avoid biting your lips often.
11. Avoid exposing your skin to chlorinated water in pools excessively.
Do not self-prescribe any of the Ayurvedic as well as conventional drugs mentioned in this article. Always consult your doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner before using any of the herbal formulations to treat pigmentation around your mouth.
The Last Word
Whatever may be the cause of pigmentation around your mouth, Ayurveda helps you to treat it with long-term solutions. Such Ayurvedic solutions are formulated with natural ingredients that have zero side effects. All you need to do is find and resort to suitable herbal treatments that bring balance to your elevated doshas.
At Vedix, we evaluate your doshas with a simple quiz and offer you a customized Ayurvedic skincare regimen with dosha balancing herbs.Know Your Dosha Now
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