Why our lips a different colour to the rest of the face?

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Jennifer

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Jennifer asked the Naked Scientists:

Why are our lips a different color than the rest of our face?

What do you think?

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Offline Madidus_Scientia

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Why our lips a different colour to the rest of the face?
« Reply #1 on: 07/07/2008 08:18:11 »
I thought it was just because the skin there is thin and they're red because of the blood just beneath them

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Offline Alan McDougall

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Why our lips a different colour to the rest of the face?
« Reply #2 on: 07/07/2008 19:49:21 »
Jenny,

As a redhead when it is cold my lips always go blue and people ask me if I am not well.

I think it has to do with the colour of ones bood being nearer the surface on the lips

Madidus is correct
The Truth remains the Truth regardless of our beliefs or opinions the Truth is always the Truth even if we know it or do not know it (The Truth remains the Truth)

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Offline Soul Surfer

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Why our lips a different colour to the rest of the face?
« Reply #3 on: 07/07/2008 23:56:38 »
Fashion!  Many non critical external characteristics of animals are settled by sexual selection and those chaacteristics favoured in the choice of mates are selected for.  Like all fashions these can change slowly.
Learn, create, test and tell
evolution rules in all things
God says so!

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Offline SquarishTriangle

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Why our lips a different colour to the rest of the face?
« Reply #4 on: 08/07/2008 13:01:08 »
Well look in the mirror and suck your lips in for a sec. Essentially the lips are muscular structures covered by a continuation of the skin (keratinised, pigmented and haired) of the face on the outside, and the mucosal lining of the oral cavity (non-keratinised, usually non-pigmented and hairless) on the inside, with the 2 layers meeting more or less at the 'tip'. And yes, the pink colour of the mucosa is due to the the visibility of blood in the underlying tissue, making the lips (and gums) a useful and easily accessible place to assess for anaemia/hyperaemia, perfusion, jaundice etc.
« Last Edit: 08/07/2008 13:04:21 by SquarishTriangle »