A dark line above the lip can be an unwelcome affliction. Usually, it's a form of melasma, or skin pigmentation resulting from a hormonal condition. Predisposition to melasma is a genetic issue that affects women more often than men. Individuals whose natural skin tone is darker are affected more often as well. Otherwise, plucking or waxing can cause the dark line to appear. In either instance, there's hope for minimizing its appearance and removing it permanently.
Wait. Often, melasma results from temporary conditions in which hormone levels are changing such as pregnancy. For many women, the line will simply fade gradually once the pregnancy is over.
Refrain from taking birth control pills. Birth control pills can alter hormone levels, which can cause melasma. If you are currently taking birth control pills, talk with your doctor about other options.
Refrain from plucking or waxing any hair above your lip. These actions can irritate hair follicles, which in turn can darken the pigmentation in this area. Laser treatment for hair removal is less likely to trigger skin discoloration.
Wear sunblock with an SPF 45 or greater. Sun exposure can darken existing melasma and make it look worse.
Visit a dermatologist to discuss procedures such as skin bleaches, peels or laser treatments if other methods do not work.
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Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.