Can a Cold Sore Cause Hyperpigmentation of a Mole on my Upper Lip?

I have a small, circular, flat, light brown mole on my upper lip. I got a cold sore directly on that spot. After it healed, my mole appeared darker (no other changes). Can this change in color be a result of the cold sore? I've had 4 IPL sessions for upper lip hair removal. The last session was ~4 weeks PRIOR to onset of the cold sore. There were no signs of darkening of the mole after the IPL sessions. It was only after the cold sore healed. What made my mole darker?!?

Doctor Answers 3

Dark spot after cold sore

A cold sore could heal with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (dark area). This pigmentation may fade, you may use a bleaching cream, or have a laser procedure.

New York Dermatologist

Cold sore on mole could be cause of dark spot

Cold sores and any time your skin gets excessively stimulated can lead to hyperpigmentation. The one question I would wonder is if this mole is undergoing changes. I would keep an eye on this mole and make sure that nothing serious is going on like progression to a cancer.  Most likely it is just hyperpigmentation from the cold sore. 

Philip Young, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Probably post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation

The darkening of your mole is most likely due to what we call post-inflammatory hyper-pigmenttion. This is due to the pigment in the mole dropping off into the dermis and causing increased pigmentation. 

However, it is prudent to consult a dermatologist for darkening of any mole, especially if herpes labialis was a self-diagnosis. After all the "C" in the A B C D E of melanoma detection stands for "color change".

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.