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The baby's lips are black or purplish-blue in color, generally caused by a lack of oxygen. In medical terms, the condition of the baby's lips that look blackish is called cyanosis. This condition needs to be watched out for because it often indicates a serious he alth problem for the baby
Black or bluish baby lips can be caused by exposure to cold air. Cold air can make the blood vessels constrict so that it blocks the air supply to the lips and eventually makes the baby's lips black or bluish in color. Babies who are cold will usually appear shivering, weak, and in cold sweat.
Usually, this condition can be overcome by warming or massaging the baby's lips and the baby's lip color will gradually return to normal. However, if your baby's lip color does not improve after being warmed or is not triggered by exposure to cold air, this condition could be due to another he alth problem.
When experiencing cyanosis, babies can experience black lips and several other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, weakness, and a lack of breastfeeding or not being able to breastfeed at all.
If your little one seems to be experiencing these signs and symptoms, Mom and Dad should immediately take him to the doctor.
Causes of Black Baby Lips
In fair-skinned babies, cyanosis is more clearly visible with a bluish or purplish tint to the skin. Whereas in babies with darker skin, the lips will look darker or blackish.
The condition of the baby's lips turning black due to cyanosis occurs when the oxygen supply in the body is reduced. This condition can occur due to reduced hemoglobin in the baby's body.
Hemoglobin is the molecule that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen. When the amount of oxygen or hemoglobin is sufficient, the skin will be bright and reddish. However, when the amount of oxygen or hemoglobin in the body decreases, the skin will appear bluish and darker in color.
In babies, this condition can cause their lips to turn black, bluish, or purplish in color.
Baby lips are black or blue and look darker is a common clinical condition found in newborns. This condition can be experienced by babies at least 5-10 minutes after birth and usually lasts for 1-2 days.
However, if cyanosis persists, this condition needs to be checked by a doctor immediately.This is because this condition can be associated with a variety of potentially life-threatening diseases, ranging from congenital heart disease to lung infections, such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis due to respiratory syntical virus (RSV) infection, and the Corona virus.
Respiratory disorders in babies that are the cause of baby's black lips can also usually make the baby look breathless and his breath sounds, for example wheezing and snoring.
Types of Cyanosis and Their Causes
Cyanosis conditions that cause the skin, lips, and nails to turn bluish or blackish are divided into two categories, namely:
Central cyanosis is caused by low oxygen levels in the blood. This condition can occur due to lack of oxygen intake or the presence of certain medical conditions that make the body unable to distribute oxygen properly.
There are several conditions or diseases that can cause a baby to experience central cyanosis, including:
- Congenital heart disease, eg tetralogy of Fallot and Eisenmenger syndrome
- Lung disorders, such as pulmonary atresia, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, and pulmonary swelling or edema.
- Hemoglobin disorders, eg methemoglobinemia.
If in central cyanosis the lack of oxygen is caused by low levels of oxygen carried in the blood, in peripheral cyanosis the lack of oxygen is caused by poor blood circulation.
In this condition, the tips of the hands and feet will appear blue. This type of cyanosis can usually be caused by several things, namely:
- severe dehydration
- cold air
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Shock, for example from hypovolemia, bleeding, or sepsis
Whatever the cause and type, the condition of black baby lips is a he alth problem that needs to be examined and treated by a doctor. If not immediately detected and treated by a doctor, the condition of the baby's black lips due to cyanosis has the potential to cause dangerous complications.
Therefore, Mom and Dad need to be alert if your little one experiences this condition, especially if he shows other symptoms such as shortness of breath, weakness, seizures, lack of breastfeeding, or if his growth and development is problematic.
If your little one has black lips accompanied by these symptoms, immediately take him to the pediatrician so that the cause can be identified and given proper treatment.