Freckles vary in color from red, light brown, brown, tan, yellow or black. They are more prominent in summer and among lighter-skinned people or those with light or red hair. Women and men get freckles at a comparable rate.
- Causes – the main cause of the development of freckles is the skins exposure to the sun. Often freckles will fade when exposure to the skin is reduced or eliminated. Melanin is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in the skin. The accumulating of melanin in one place usually results in a freckle. Addition, genetic factors and hormone abnormalities can cause freckles.
- Symptoms and Signs – freckles are irregular solitary spots that sometimes may be grouped together. This makes the freckles appear larger and cover a larger portion of the skin. Commonality is found between freckles, age spots and pregnancy mask that are formed in sun exposed areas of the face, hands, chest and back. The accumulation of skin pigment melanin produce these welcome brown patches.
- Types – there are two types of freckles:
- Ephelides – is a term that refers to flat spots that are red or light-brown, appear during the summer months and fade in the winter.
- Lentigines – these are usually developed by children with the start of a small, tan, brown or black spot that tend to be darker than an ephelis-type freckle and typically does not fade in the winter.
- Treatment – there are several effective treatments for freckles:
- Bleaching Creams – the most beneficial treatment for lightning freckles is consistently applying hydroquinone and kojic acid over a period of time. Vitamin A when applied over a period of time will make freckles lighter.
- Chemical Peels – these are used to remove age spots, freckles, discolorations, fine lines and wrinkles by making the skin smooth and firm then gradually curing freckles.
- Cryosurgery – is a light freeze using liquid nitrogen.
- Laser Removal -the laser projects an intense light on the affected area causing the light to be absorbed by the oxyhemoglobin and melanin, destroying the darker cells, leaving the healthy cells intact. This is the most effective method to remove freckles. A newer form of facial revitalization is Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL). IPL deliveries intensity to the superficial (epidermis) and deep (dermis) layers of the skin. Therefore the epidermis is denied damage and there is virtually no recovery time.
Knowing the facts about freckles, what causes them, the types and the various treatments available is for informational purposes. Consult a medical professional before starting any treatment plan or if you develop any unusual skin irritations.