The Truth About Freckles: 5 Fun Facts
Freckles can be the subject of some controversy among women as there are those who believe that freckles are cute and attractive while others believe that freckles are essentially blemishes on their skin. When it comes to freckles and health, some believe that freckles are entirely harmless while others believe that freckles are a sure sign of skin cancer. But what are they actually?
Freckles are flat, circular spots that are darker in color than the surrounding skin. They are caused by an increase in melanin, and are especially common among fair complexioned individuals, usually appearing on the cheeks, nose, arms and upper shoulders. They can appear on individuals as young as one or two years old. They are normally fairly uniform in size and color on one individual, but they can vary greatly in color from individual to individual. They can appear reddish, yellow, tan, light brown, brown or even black, but they are usually always just slightly darker in color than the surrounding skin. Most freckles will become even darker after sun exposure and a bit lighter during winter months.
Fun Facts About Freckles
1. There are two main types of freckles: simple freckles, which are usually small, round and tan in color, and sunburn freckles, which are usually larger, have jagged edges and are darker in color.
2. Most freckles develop either as a result of inherited genes or sun exposure. Both natural sunlight and artificial tanning lights emit UV rays, which causes the outer layer of skin to thicken and pigment-producing cells to increase production of melanin. It is large, centralized deposits of melanin that produce the spot of a freckle. Fair-skinned individuals tend to be more sensitive to UV rays, and therefore are usually more prone to developing sunburn freckles.
3. Natural, common freckles that occur as a result of inherited genes are usually entirely harmless, and can actually define and add character to an individual’s complexion.
4. Sunburn freckles can usually be prevented by wearing sunscreens with SPF factors of 50 or higher, wide-brimmed hats, and sun-protective clothing. Individuals can also avoid sun exposure between the peak hours of 10-4, and seek shade while outdoors.
5. Freckles can sometimes be reduced or removed through bleaching or fading creams, retinoids, cryosurgery, laser treatment, photofacials and chemical peels.