What Are Freckles?
Freckles are small brown spots on your skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In most cases, freckles are harmless. They form as a result of overproduction of melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color (pigmentation). Overall, freckles come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulation.
There are Two Categories of Freckles:
- Ephelides and
- Solar lentigines.
Ephelides are the common type most people think of as freckles. Solar lentigines are dark patches of skin that develop during adulthood. This includes freckles, aging spots, and sunspots. The two types of freckles can look similar but differ in other ways such as their development.
How Do You Get Freckles?
Ephelides: These freckles form as a result of sun exposure and sunburns. They can appear on anyone who doesn’t protect themselves from UV rays. They show up on your face, the back of your hands, and upper body. This type tends to be most common amongst people with lighter skin tones and hair color. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides.
Solar letigines: Like ephelides, this type tends to appear in Caucasians and adults over 40 years old.
What Increases Your Chance for Freckles?
The credit for freckles goes to both the natural environment and genetics. Your risk for burning can increase the incidence of freckles.
What’s the difference between freckles and sunspots?
All freckles fall into the ephelides and solar lentigines category, although freckles and sun spots can differ. Solar lentigines include sunspots, which can sometimes be scaly.
Can I prevent more freckles from appearing?
For people who want to avoid freckles, prevention is key. It’s also possible to prevent freckles while speeding up their disappearance. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your skin. Wait 15 minutes before heading outdoors for full protection. Do this every day, even in the winter, to prevent further pigmentation.
One study reported good results for lightening freckles and skin pigmentation with products such as:
- Alpha hydroxyl acids (8% AHA toner)
- Trichloracetic acid (TCA)
- Acid peels
You can purchase acid and chemical peels online. The study above reports Jessner Solution as a potential treatment for freckles. Always patch-test to avoid skin irritation, if you are using a facial peel at home. Wash off the peel immediately if your skin starts to burn and do not leave on for longer than instructed.
- Retinoid Creams
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Therapy
Laser Therapy: Effective for many pigmentation irregularities, laser therapy can zap away freckles as well. The lasers can fade the extra pigmentation, boost collagen production, and resurface the skin with new cells. Most clients require several rounds of treatment.
Is it possible to inherit freckles?
Heredity or more accurately skin colour is a very important factor in the susceptibility to form freckles.
Photo facials or Intense Pulsed Light: Treatments are another method to lighten and remove freckles. This is not a true laser technique but an intense light source.
When to See a Dermatologist in Indore?
If you notice an unexpected discolouration on a particular area of skin or there is a sudden increase in the number of freckles, then seek immediate medical attention. Also, if you observe any unusual or persistent change in your skin, then consult a dermatologist in Indore before your skin condition becomes severe.