What are Freckles?

Causes,Treatments and Prevention

Posted by Idha Clinic on August 24, 2018

What are Freckles and how to avoid them?

Freckles are various clusters formed by a collection of concentrated melanized cells. Freckles, also known as “ephelides”, are actually a sign of major skin exposure to the sun. While most freckles do not pose any danger, they largely indicate sun damage to the skin. Freckles tend to develop whenever the skin starts to produce more melanin pigment. The skin would generally produce more melanin pigment as a response to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. It is actually the skin’s attempt to protect itself from suffering through any more sun damage. Which is why, freckles often disappear in the winter, are quite frequent and dark during the summer season, because of being abundantly exposed to the sun.

Freckles are more visible and more common in fair-skinned individuals because fair skin tends to suffer through sunburn easily and is highly resistant to tanning. Wherein, people who have olive or darker skin tones end up tanning easily and also have much fewer freckles. Freckles usually begin to appear during childhood on areas of the body which are most exposed to sunlight.

Causes of Freckles

Freckles develop generally as a mixture of genetic predisposition (inheritance) as well as sun exposure. The fluorescent tanning lights as well as sunlight both emit a lot of ultraviolet (UV) rays. When the skin absorbs these rays, then the production of melanin pigment by cutaneous melanocytes gets accelerated. People who have blond or red hair, or have light-colored eyes, as well as fair skin are especially susceptible to the damage caused by UV rays and are the easiest targets for developing freckles.

A freckle is essentially just an unusually heavy deposit of melanin at one particular spot inside the skin. So, whenever ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun hit your skin- then the outermost layer of your skin, the epidermis, ends up thickening a lot more. This definitely causes melanocytes as well as the pigment-producing cells in your skin. The exposure to UV rays also produces a lot more melanin, which ends up darkening the freckles present on your skin.

Treatment for Freckles

  • Bleaching or fading creams

    Products that largely contain hydroquinone or kojic acid should be purchased as one of the easiest solutions. Although, if the product has a higher concentration of hydroquinone which is (over 2%) then it requires a prescription.

  • Retinoids

    Retinoids are generally used with other bleaching creams. Creams containing tretinoin acid, Retin-A, tazarotene, and adapalene (Differin) will also end up helping in the lightening of freckles if applied consistently over a period of several months.

  • Cryosurgery

    Cryosurgery is carried out with the help of a light freeze which contains liquid nitrogen. This should be done only by professionals and treats some types of freckles. This, however, is not required for all and not every patient responds well to this form of therapy.

  • Laser treatment

    There are multiple types of lasers available which may help in lightening and reduction of the appearance of the freckles in a safe and effective manner. However, this is quite a safe procedure and has a high success rate with an extremely low risk of scarring and skin discoloration.

Prevention of Freckles

The only way to ensure proper prevention of freckles is through avoiding the sun as much as possible. It is extremely harmful and makes the skin vulnerable to various disorders. The exposure to UV rays is in particular very harmful. You can use sunscreens with high SPF if your skin is highly prone to sun problems. Covering your face when exposed to the sun is another useful way to prevent freckles. Experts at clinics such as Clearskin gives the patient the right guidance on how to avoid, prevent and treat freckles.

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