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What Are Freckles? The A – Z Guide

Do you know what are freckles? Yes! Freckles, the word which is taking the internet by storm nowadays. Jumping to the conclusion is the favourite exercise of people on the web without even knowing the facts, and that is the reason that different people have different perceptions about freckles on skin too. 

For some people, it is a sign of luck and you are considered lucky if you have blemishes so you should not try to remove those from your body. But for the rest of the people, freckles are bad marks which are considered as an obstruction for your clean and clear skin. 

So what are freckles on face? freckles meaning? How to remove freckles? Don’t worry; this is the right place to clear the air about it.

In this article:

1. What are freckles?
2. Types of freckles
3. Freckles Causes
4. How to prevent freckles?
5. Home remedies for freckles

What are Freckles?

Freckles on face are the cluster of your skin cells called “melanocytes” (These cells are responsible for the colour of your skin by producing the pigment called Melanin). In the case of a freckle, the >skin pigment “Melanin” starts overproducing and appears as the flat tanned, light brown spots or red spots, especially on the overall sun-exposed fair skin. 

They are different from the moles because, in moles, there is an overproduction of skin cells (Melanocytes) instead of pigment “Melanin Granules” in the smaller area of skin. They are generally harmless and painless and can be seen in all kind of skins but most commonly found in the skin tone 1 and skin tone 2, which usually belongs to the northern Europeans.

Types of Freckles

Not all the visible dark spots or aging spots are freckles and also not all the freckles are of the same kind and occur due to the same reason. So these can be of two types:

1. Ephelides

– Ephelides are commonly seen in the people with the light complexion with the red or blond hair on the part of the skin which is exposed to the sun such as face, neck and arms.

– In the early stage of life, it can be increased in numbers, but it starts decreasing with increasing the age of an individual.

– Ephelides are directly influenced by the exposure of the skin with sun. The more skin comes in the exposure of the sun; the more it start appearing on the skin. But with the reduction of sun exposure such as in winters, freckles also starts lightening.

2. Solar lentigines

– Solar lentigines are also called Liver Spots, Actinic lentigines or Sun Spots. They are round to irregular in shape and can vary in the colour also from light brown to black.

– These causes due to the excessive photodamage thus don’t see at birth but at the elder stages of life.

– The colour of the dark patches of solar lentigines does not get light with the reduction of sun exposure alike in case of ephelides.

Freckles Causes

Nobody gets the freckle spots by birth, but it only influenced by various reasons. The most important reason for getting them are:

Sun Exposure

freckles-on-skin

Sun – Yes! This word always comes in the first place whenever you think about any skin problem. Sun is the most vital thing in our lives, but also it is one of the biggest reason for damaging the skin like sun tanning, dark spots and so on because of the harmful ultraviolet rays. In response to the damage from the sun, your skin cells (Melanocytes) starts overproducing and appear as the freckle on all the sun-exposed body parts.

Genetics

Genetics also a significant reason for causing it because genetically people are of two types. One whose body produces “Pheomelanin” and others are those whose body produces “Eumelanin”.

Eumelanin – is a type of Melanin which protects the skin from the sun damage and generally found in the people with the dark skin, eyes and hair. People having this type of Melanin is at lower risk of developing the freckles.

Pheomelanin – is a type of Melanin which doesn’t protect the skin from sun damage and generally found in the people with the light skin, eyes and hair. People having this type of Melanin is at higher risk of developing the freckles.

Freckles Treatment

Should You Consult Doctor?

Freckles and moles both are not associated with any risk, and they are totally harmless. In rare cases, moles still have a particular risk of causing malignant skin cancer or melanoma. But the problem is to understand the difference between freckles, moles and in the other harmful spots that can cause skin cancer. 

So how can you check whether you should go to the doctor or not? Here are some tips that are known as ABCDE rubric of self-examination to monitor the risk associated with them:

A – Asymmetry

Asymmetry shows that there can be some risk. To check the asymmetry divide your face from the middle by drawing a line and check do both halves match each other? If not, that means there is asymmetry.

B – Border

If the borders of your mole or freckle see bumpy, uneven and notched, then it shows the characteristics of the cancerous moles because non-cancerous cells cannot be like that.

C – Colour

If you can see the variety of colours in your freckles and moles, then it also shows the risk factor.

D – Diameter

If the size of the bumpy or uneven mole is bigger than the 1/4 inch (a pencil tip) can also be cancer-causing.

E – Evolving

If all these factors such as shape, size and colour are evolving and you can see the changes in them, then it is also a warning sign.

If you find one or more above symptoms after evaluating all these steps of the self-examination on your freckles, moles or other sunspots, then directly consult your dermatologist or doctor without even thinking for a second because as you know that it is always better to stay safe then being sorry in future.

How to Prevent Freckles?

You must have listened to this quote many times in your life that “Prevention is better than cure” then why to always wait for getting things to worsen or out of control when you have the power to stop them even before they happen to you. 

There is no proper treatment available to cure freckles, and those are available; they only lighten the blemishes but not vanish them. So the best way to get rid of freckles is to prevent them. Here are some best ways that can help you out:

Sunscreen

freckle-removal

People ask, Does sunscreen prevent freckles? The primary cause of all types of freckles is sun exposure and UV rays, so the best way to prevent freckles is to block that sun exposure and who can do this job better than Sunscreens. Use SPF 50 gel sunscreen after every two hours on your bare skin for the best results.

Remember, sunscreen does not cure or treat the pre-existing freckles, but it helps to prevent the new one.

Bleaching or freckle treatment creams

Bleaching cream or fading cream both are available easily because both are over the counter creams. These creams mainly contain the ingredient in it called “Hydroquinone” which is known to reduce the production of the pigment “Melanin” in your skin, thus helps in lighten freckles and dark skin.

Home Remedies for freckles

Apart from the chemical ways to treat and prevent them, there are some natural home remedies also those take the lead in avoiding them without causing any side effect. Lemon Juice, Honey, Papaya, Buttermilk, yoghurt and many more if directly applied to the skin can help in getting rid of the freckles. But do not continuously use those remedies if you feel any irritation on your skin.

Yes! This is true that no one can have flawless skin like those false advertisements claim, but skin can become brighter and smooth if maintained and cared correctly. Freckles are harmless but stubborn, and it is impossible to vanish them from your skin. 

They can be lightened and prevented with the use of good sunscreens and vitamin c serum. Even the full moon has cratered; nonetheless, it looks damn beautiful when it shines in the night. So for people with it, sunscreens work as shine in the presence of freckles like craters. Having that prevention remedy in your life can make you shine out from the crowd.

People say freckles are imperfections so be perfect with these imperfections!

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