What are the Causes of Dark Purple Spots on Lips and Its Treatments

Purple spot formation on the lips is a common occurrence in the elderly. Most are alarmed when they see this kind of spot on their lips for fear of a serious medical diagnosis when it is actually a harmless skin condition caused by too much sun exposure.

Purple Spots on Lips

  • This condition is otherwise known as venous lakes of the lips.

  • This appears as a bluish-purple spot that can appear on the lips and other areas such as the ears and the neck.

  • The purplish or bluish discoloration of the spots is caused by the dilation of venules in the skin that have been exposed to the sun.

  • This condition typically affects people 50 years old and above but they can also appear in younger adults.

  • The condition is more common in men than in women.

  • These are benign lesions of the skin.

  • Definitive diagnosis is very important because the spot can resemble basal cell carcinoma or a melanoma.

  • Differential diagnosis is done to help rule out conditions such as basal cell carcinoma, blue naevus, cherry hemangioma, Kaposi‚Äôs sarcoma, malignant melanoma, and pyogenic granuloma which can resemble the venous lakes on the lips.

  • Prognosis of patients with this condition is excellent because the spots do not progress into more serious types of lesions such as cancer of the skin.

What Causes Purple Spots on Lips

  • Too much sun exposure is the main cause behind the formation of purple spots on the lips.

  • Due to overexposure from the sun, the vein walls weaken and become damaged.

  • As the venous walls weaken, it forms an outpouching that is filled with venous blood or deoxygenated blood giving the spot its characteristic color.

Dark Purple Spots on Lips Treatment

Treatment is available for cosmetic purposes but medical treatment is not needed. Treatment is only done when the doctor has ruled out any other diagnosis. The doctor must confirm the diagnosis of venous lake prior to proceeding with treatment done through diascopy or biopsy.

  • Laser treatments

    • Different types of lasers may be used to remove venous lakes on the lips.

    • The risk of this treatment includes bleeding, swelling, and scarring.

    • Repeated treatments may be necessary to completely remove the spot.

  • Surgery

    • Surgical removal of the spots.

  • Preventive methods

    • Avoid overexposure to the sun.

    • Wearing sunscreen with the right SPF.

    • Apply lip balms or lip products with SPF protection.

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