The skin of the lips is different from the rest of the body because it is thinner and more delicate.
Skin of the face has up to 16cell layers but that of the lips has about 3-5 cell layers. The small layer of cells on the lips allows the color of the underlying blood vessels to show.
Blood vessels can change color depending on the level of oxygen in the blood. Example:
- Blood rich in oxygen is “Bright Red”
- Blood with low oxygen is “Dark Red/Purple”
- Blood without enough oxygen is “Blue”
- When there are low blood volume in the body, the blood vessels appear “White”
And due to how thin the layer on the lips are, you can visibly see these colors and more on the lips.
And the color of the skin affects the color of the lips
DIFFERENT LIP COLORS, MEANING AND CAUSES
• BLUE LIPS
In medicine “Blue Lips” is called CYANOSIS meaning the person does not have enough oxygen in their blood.
The blue color can also be noted on the tip of your fingers and toes along with the lips.
Causes of Blue Lips :
2. Lung diseases such as asthma, pneumonia
3. Heart failure
4. Shock from blood loss
5. Blood poisoning from insecticides
6. Extreme cold temperatures
Blue lips is an emergency case, especially if the person is located in a place where there are no cold weather.
• WHITE LIPS
It’s always associated with lameness on the face, lining of the eyes, inside the mouth and fingers
It is normally caused by ANAEMIA which is low red blood cell count and also requires medical attention
Causes of White Lips :
1. Heavy blood loss which could be from accidents
2. Internal bleeding
3. Diet low in iron, folate
4. Low blood sugar
5. Circulatory problems
6. Chronic diseases
7. Frost bite in very cold regions.
• BLACK LIPS
This is known as the “hyperpigmentation” of the lips. It simply means there are excess melanin on the lips.
Melanin is the cell that gives black people their dark skin. So excess of it causes black/dark lips.
Causes of Black Lips :
- Excessive exposure to the sun
- Lack of hydration
- Cigarette smoking
- Allergic reaction to lipstick and toothpaste
- Too much caffeine
- Lip sucking as a kid
- Vitamin deficiency
Smoking can cause dark lips but it doesn’t mean that every one with dark lips are smokers.