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What Is a Lip Freckle?

By Angela Farrer
Updated May 21, 2024
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A lip freckle is a small dark spot that results when a cluster of skin pigment cells forms just under the surface of the upper or lower lip. Since the skin on the lips is thinner than on other body areas, any dark spots on lip surfaces are often more noticeable. The medical term for a freckle is a melanotic macule, and it is a common skin condition that is normally not a cause for concern. A lip freckle is usually tied to sun exposure, age, and a genetic predisposition to freckling easily. Some dermatologists advise that freckles should be examined only if they appear suddenly or have noticeable changes in color or texture.

Freckled skin tends to be common in people with light skin and light eye colors, such as green or blue. People from families prone to freckling can often develop prominent freckles after a relatively short time in the sun. Since fair skin can often be more sensitive to sun damage, skin-care experts recommend regular use of lotions and lip balms containing sunscreen. Regular sun protection on the lips will also help prevent a lip freckle from darkening over time. This measure is also important for reducing the risk of lip cancer, which can sometimes appear as a dark spot that later becomes a raised bump on the lip surface.

Some people who have at least one freckle on their lips are not bothered with their appearance and even believe the freckle is a unique facial feature. Others may wish to have their freckles removed, although the process can sometimes be challenging. Freckle-lightening creams available with a dermatologist's prescription can often help when applied on a consistent basis. Some people also have some success with using lemon juice to fade the freckles over time. These kinds of topical treatments are considered the safest and least invasive for reducing the appearance of dark lip freckles.

While a lip freckle can be surgically removed under local anesthetic, many dermatologists caution that this procedure carries a risk of lip scarring. A noticeable lip scar can be potentially more troublesome than the original lip freckle. Unless a freckle shows potential signs of becoming a cancerous lesion, physicians are often reluctant to perform surgical excision for purely cosmetic reasons. Cosmetic freckle removal is normally considered a voluntary procedure, so it is usually not covered by health insurance plans.

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Discussion Comments
By anon991755 — On Jul 15, 2015

I have a freckle on my upper lip that appeared in seventh grade or so and has become increasingly more noticeable. I don't mind it and my girlfriend thinks it's cute, so win win.

By anon967449 — On Aug 27, 2014

I had an awkward lip freckle removed by a simple laser treatment. It then simply darkened, dried, and fell off. I was advised to use sunscreen because these tend to return, and three years later, I see that it is beginning to darken a bit in the same location. I would not hesitate to do another laser treatment in the future.

By stoneMason — On Apr 21, 2014

@ysmina-- In India, a dot of kajal (black eyeliner) is made on the lips of beautiful men and women to protect them from nazar or evil eye. Why don't you consider that God made that mark for you so that jealous eyes don't harm your beauty?

Beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. What might be ugly to you might be beautiful and desirable for someone else. It's all about perspective.

By serenesurface — On Apr 21, 2014

@ysmina-- You need to use a lip balm with SPF in the summer. I use a lip balm with sun protection year around. It's true that sunlight causes freckles or makes them darker. But you can avoid it by using the right products.

There is nothing harmful about a freckle though. I personally think that freckles are cute and I know that there are many people out there who feel the same. A freckle on the lip is even more unique.

I don't think you have any reason to worry and I agree that you need to accept and love yourself the way you are. As long as the freckle doesn't grow or change into an odd color, it should not be removed. Like the article said, the scar of surgery will be much worse than the appearance of a freckle.

By ysmina — On Apr 20, 2014

I have a lip freckle and I dislike it. It seems to fade a little bit in winter but darkens in the summer when my lips are exposed to sunlight. I think it's ugly but I can't get rid of it so I have to learn to accept it.

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