Ask an expert: What is venous lake of the lip?

Written by: Dr Nawal Kishore Jha
Edited by: Sophie Kennedy

Venous lake of the lip is a condition that can cause the formation of a dark blue or purple spot on the lip. Although it is not harmful, it can have a very similar presentation to other, more serious conditions so it is vital to consult a specialist to rule out anything sinister. In this informative article, leading cosmetic and hair restoration surgeon Dr Nawal Kishore Jha gives expert insight on the common causes behind venous lake of the lip and explains how it can be treated.




What is venous lake of the lip?


Venous lake of the lip is a vascular defect or anomaly which can develop for several reasons. In this condition, dilated veins can present as a small, soft bump or a flat macule or lesion on the lip which are typically dark blue or purple in colour. They mostly occur on the lower lip but can also present on the upper lip.



What causes venous lake of the lip?


In around fifty per cent of cases, venous lake of the lip is caused by one of the following factors:

  • injury or trauma to the area
  • cigarette smoking
  • excessive exposure to sunshine
  • lip biting


However, in the other half of cases that we come across, there is no definitive cause. Therefore, venous lake of the lip can also present in non-smokers, with no history of excessive exposure to the sun or trauma in the area.



Is venous lake of the lake cancerous?


When assessing this type of lesion, part of the diagnostic process of this condition is ensuring that there is no presence of malignant melanoma as the presentation is very similar to that of venous lake of the lip. Therefore, it is important to get checked out by a dermatologist who will use a specialised device to assess the area. If the growth is deemed safe and non-cancerous, the patient can then seek out treatment.



How is it treated?


Venous lake of the lip is treated with laser following a consultation and assessment. If it is deemed safe to do so, the patient can undergo laser treatment either on the same day or on another date suitable for the patient. The treatment only takes a few minutes to complete and is not painful, although some patients experience very slight discomfort.



Can venous lake of the lip rupture or have any other side-effects?


From time to time, it has been seen that the lesion can bleed a little following trivial trauma, such as biting. Bleeding in any other capacity, however, is not common as this type of papule is generally non-symptomatic. If the patient has experienced any symptoms of pain, bleeding or oozing, they should be examined by a consultant oncologist to rule out anything sinister.




If you are seeking treatment for venous lake of the lip and wish to book a consultation with Dr Jha, you can do so by visiting his Top Doctors profile.

By Dr Nawal Kishore Jha
Aesthetic medicine

Dr Nawal K Jha is a senior cosmetic and hair restoration surgeon based in Leamington Spa and provides UK-wide treatment. Dr Jha has a specialist interest in treating a variety of common and uncommon skin blemishes including pearly penile papules (PPP), fordyce spots, genital warts, scrotal angiokeratoma and many other benign skin conditions. He has been the medical director of the industry-leading Renew Skin and Health Clinic since January 2010.

Dr Jha is an experienced medical professional, renowned for the procedures above as well as hair restoration and hair-loss treatments for both men and women. After working in the NHS, he followed his own personal experience with the hair transplant procedure and decided to undergo training in hair restoration, completing his training in Europe.

Since then Dr Jha has accumulated a significant amount of experience in use of various advanced lasers such as the CO2 laser, the Nd-Yag laser and the Pulsed Dye laser alongside the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser and the Alex laser. This reflects his interest in treating common and uncommon skin blemishes using lasers.

Before moving to the UK in 1996 to begin what is now an esteemed career, he graduated from the University of Ranchi's Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences, India, with an MBBS in 1992. Furthermore, he regularly attends international and national conferences to improve and update his skills in the latest developments of the aesthetic medicine field. 

Dr Jha is also an associate member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) and the Independent Doctors Federation (IDF) alongside the British Medical Association (BMA). 

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

This website uses our own and third-party Cookies to compile information with the aim of improving our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences as well analysing your browsing habits. You can change your settings HERE.