Smoking may be causing your lips to turn black and can have some very serious long-term effects on your body, and sometimes even short-term ones too. For example, some of the side effects of smoking include low blood pressure, dizziness, and even blackened lips! Read on to find out more about this condition and how you can avoid it…
What are the causes of dark lips?
Darker lips are often a sign of smoking. When someone smokes, it changes the color and texture of their lips. The nicotine from the cigarette reduces blood flow in their lips, so they turn dark because oxygen is not reaching the blood. Quitting smoking will eventually lighten the color and texture of your lips. If you smoke for too long, you can develop smoker’s lines on your lips which are lines that have appeared as a result of smoking. They appear when the smoker has been sucking on cigarettes for too long and created wrinkles or creases around the lip area. The longer you smoke, the more severe these wrinkles become. You may also notice that the skin on your lips starts to thin out and crack. Smoking can also cause chapping, peeling, and swelling in your mouth area. Smoking also makes you more likely to get cold sores or herpes infections due to the damage done by cigarettes.
The link between smoking and darker lips:
Although there are many other conditions that can cause your lips to turn black, if you’ve been smoking, it is likely the cause of this unwanted appearance. Tobacco contains a mixture of carcinogens and chemicals that act on the skin when smoke enters the body through inhalation. This often leads to dark patches appearing on smoker’s skin, which are the result of nicotine combining with the increased oxygen in your bloodstream. While these areas will eventually fade, smoking cigarettes is harmful not just to your lips but your entire body as well. The best way to prevent these side effects from occurring is to quit smoking or use a patch or gum instead. Smoking cessation programs may also be available at your doctor’s office or local hospital.
Tips for avoiding darker lips:
Doing your best to avoid contact with cigarettes and their accompanying carcinogens can help you maintain a brighter, healthier smile. However, if you’re a smoker there are things you can do that will also help reduce the risk of tobacco discoloring your lips. These include: Use chewing gum and brush your teeth after smoking Quit smoking – don’t use any more smokeless tobacco
Cigarette smoking, which is the most common form of tobacco use, is estimated to kill more than 8 million people worldwide. But, are you aware of the lesser-known consequences of smoking? The external effects of smoking, while not deadly, can still be extremely demoralizing.
Smoker’s lips are one such consequence of long-term smoking. In this condition, the skin around the mouth develops vertical wrinkles. Also, your lips and gums become significantly darker on account of hyperpigmentation.
Does Smoking Make Your Lips Black?
Yes. Studies show a striking connection between smoking and pigmentation in the lips. Additionally, tobacco smoking can affect your overall skin, with one study noting the impact on the thickness and density of the dermis, epidermis, and nasolabial folds.
Another study found the scores of lip and gum pigmentation in smokers to be 7 and 4 times higher than those of non-smokers.
Shedding light on the “smokers lips” syndrome
Did you know it takes more than 4000 chemicals to make up cigarette smoke? And most of these affect you in one way or another. For example, the chemicals in tobacco smoke are responsible for the destruction of collagen and elastin in your body. This leads to skin sagging and the emergence of deeper wrinkles.
Smokers Lip Syndrome
Smokers’ lips syndrome is used to describe the phenomenon where your lips, in particular, are affected by tobacco usage. The chemicals in the smoke lead to discolouration and wrinkling of the lips. The change in colour leads to your lips changing to a blue, black or purple hue. The wrinkles or ‘Smokers Lines’ are small vertical lines that form across your lips and in the skin between your lips and nose. These wrinkles get more pronounced over time, making the discolouration look deeper in colour.
As for the darkening of your lips or smokers’ lips, there are four reasons why this happens.
Tobacco and tar
Present in cigarettes in an abundantly large amount, these key contents stain not only your lips but also your teeth and gums. Over time, your lips will begin to appear blackish-blue.
Your skin cells release melanin when they sense heat and UV light from the sun. Now melanin is responsible for your skin colour. The more of it you have, the darker your skin is. So when the skin cells around your lips sense heat from the cigarette, they spring into action and release melanin. Although it’s just your skin’s way of protecting your body from the heat, the excess melanin ends up making the area dark.
There are tiny capillaries present under the surface of your lips. The blood running through these capillaries is responsible for their rosy hue. Now the more you smoke, the weaker these capillaries get. With pressure from the toxins present in smoke, they ultimately give way and burst. When that happens, your rosy lips get clouded with hues of black.
Lack of oxygen
Among the 4000 chemicals that make up cigarette smoke is the potentially lethal carbon monoxide. When you inhale this gas, it interferes with your bloodstream and reduces the supply of oxygen circulating through your body. One of the outcomes is bluish-blackish lips.