What are freckles? What types of freckles are there? How to freckles develop? Are freckles hereditary? How can freckles be prevented? How can freckles be treated?
These are all questions that are asked when a person has freckles. We’ve got answers!
What are freckles?
Freckles are flat, tanned circular spots that can be small or larger in size. Freckles develop randomly on the skin especially after sun exposure. Freckles are common in fair skinned people and appear on the upper part of the body from cheeks to shoulders and can appear in early childhood. Freckles can be red, yellow, tan, brown or black but they are always darker than the surrounding skin and tend to get darker when exposed to the sun and lighten a little during winter months.
What types of freckles are there?
There are 2 types of freckles. Simple freckles are usually small, round and tan. Sunburn freckles are darker, may have jagged borders and may be larger. Sunburn freckles can develop as a result of severe sunburn and are often seen on the upper back and shoulders. Freckles may also be known as Ephelides or Lentigines.
How do freckles develop?
Freckles may be inherited as well as a result of sun exposure. When the skin is exposed to the sun or to UV light such as that from tanning beds or artificial sources, melanin is produced at an increased rate. Although no 2 people are alike, some people will see that spots or freckles develop as a result of this sun exposure. Freckles are uneven melanin deposits in the skin and tend to be more prevalent in blond or red haired, fair skinned people as these skin types are more susceptible to the damaging effects of UV rays. Freckles are harmless however concerns can arise when freckles are confused with other skin diseases such as melanomas or basal cell carcinomas.
How can freckles be prevented?
The main prevention methods for freckles are avoiding sun and protecting from the sun and include:
- Sunscreen use with SPF 30 and above
- Wide brim hats
- Sun protective clothing
- Avoiding sun at peak noon hours
- staying in shade
People who are prone to freckling are also generally more at risk for developing skin cancers and should practice prevention methods.
How can freckles be treated?
There are many treatments for freckles that can help to lighten or reduce the freckles.Many people like their freckles whilst others are bothered by them and seek out cosmetic treatments to reduce their freckles. Freckles are treated with:
- Bleaching or fading creams containing hydroquinone, arbutin, kojic acid.
- Retinoids such as tretinoin, tazarotene
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels
At BC laser and Skincare Clinic we offer combination treatments for freckles in Surrey, Vancouver, Delta, White Rock, Langley and Coquitlam. To make your appointment with Dr Shah and our staff call 604 580 2464.
Brown spots, Sunspots and Age spots
Brown spots, age spots and sunspots are refer to the appearance of yellowish or brownish spots on the skin particularly on the face, hands, forearms, chest and shoulders. These brown spots tend to appear after the age of 40 and are part of the aging process. They are harmless brown spots or age spots but they affect the cosmetic appearance of the skin and are often unwanted. The brown spots are often the result of the skin trying to protect itself from too much sun exposure by producing a lot of melanin. Melanin is then deposited in the skin in an uneven fashion resulting in the brown spots over the skin.
There are many treatments for brown spots, age spots and sunspots and are the same type of treatments as for freckles above. Brown spots appear on any skin type and are not restricted to just fair skinned, light haired people. They differ from freckles in that they are not inherited but develop over time as a result of aging.
Note: Procedure results may vary from patient to patient.