Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Why are my lips becoming whiter?"


I noticed that my lips are getting whiter, like they are going from a bright pink to a dull pink and look white in places. Why might this happen?


I recommend that you get in to see your primary care doctor about this issue. They will be able to take a look at your lips and determine if there is something serious going on that needs treatment. One common cause of white patches and color changes on the lips is simply chapped lips.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Primary care-doctors near you

Other symptoms of chapped lips includes dryness, pain, burning, and flaking or cracking of the lips. Often this responds well simply to moisturizing with a good chapstick, but sometimes it requires stronger medications which your doctor can give you. Rarely, a white patch on the lip can be a sign of a skin or lip cancer, especially if the patch is persistent and growing. You are at higher risk of skin or lip cancer if you use tobacco or if you are out in the sun a lot. Your doctor can tell you if there is a concern for cancer or a precancerous spot; if so, you will probably need a biopsy of the patch to rule this out. Finally, if your lips are gradually and more uniformly becoming pale, this can be a sign of anemia, which can be detected with simple blood tests. See your doctor was soon as possible.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.