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 produces 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. This is why, freckles often disappear in the winter, and 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. 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. Exposure to UV rays also produces a lot more melanin, which ends up darkening the freckles present on your skin.
What Do Freckles on Your Body Mean?
A few very common questions patients ask us include, what do freckles on arms mean, and how to get rid of freckles on arms or freckles on the face? Well, if you see white freckles on arms, then they are called idiopathic hypomelanosis guttate. It is possible that they were there before summer. But now they are prominently visible due to tanning. The condition is harmless and non-symptomatic.
Now, another question people ask is, can freckles be cancerous? The answer is no. Freckles are non-cancerous. But often, they are mistaken for skin cancer.
Treatment for Freckles
Freckles need to rarely be treated. Since it is quite complicated, you should visit experts such as Clear Skin Clinic to find the best treatment for your problems. The experts here would find just the right degree of freckle percolation as well as advise you on the best treatment available. Some of the most common treatments for freckles are listed below:
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. These products will not only help lighten freckles but if used judiciously, they will also avoid the occurrence of freckles. Bleaching and fading creams are actually most effective as a combination ensuring avoidance of the sun as well as being an effective measure of sun protection.
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 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.
There are multiple types of lasers available that may help in lightening and reduction of the appearance of 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.
The only way to ensure proper prevention of freckles is by avoiding the sun as much as possible. It is extremely harmful and makes the skin vulnerable to various disorders. 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 Clear Skin give the patient the right guidance on how to avoid, prevent and treat freckles.