Freckles also called “ephelides”. Freckles appear as clusters of a circular, brownish-colored spot, formed by concentrated melanized cells and are more common in fair-skinned individuals and a major sign of exposure to sunlight.
Freckles are not a skin disease, but people with freckles generally have a lower concentration of photo-protective melanin and are therefore more susceptible to the harmful effects of UV radiation. It is suggested to avoid overexposure to the sun and use round the year sunscreen SPF>50
What are the differences between Freckles and Lentigines:
Freckles are tiny, flat, brownish-colored spots that typically appear during the summer months. Although found in people with all types of skin tones, most common in fair-skinned people.
Lentigines are larger, discrete pigmented spots most commonly present at the site of previous sunburn and sun damage. They are also called liver spots or sun spots and look darker as they appear after years of sun exposure. Lentigines are not seasonal like freckles and are found more commonly in older people. Occasionally lentigines are associated with a genetic syndrome.
Freckles are different from lentigines and moles, which are caused by the accumulation of melanocytes in a small area.
Let us know the causes and how freckles are formed?
Freckles develop due to sun exposure in people who are genetically predisposed.
People with blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and fair skin, are more to get damage by UV rays and hence develop freckles.
The formation of freckles is caused by exposure to sunlight. The exposure to UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to overproduce melanin granules (melanosomes), changing the coloration of the outer skin cells (keratinocytes) and thickening the outer skin layer. Further abnormal exposure to UV rays produces much more melanin, which ends up darkening the freckles present on your skin. Freckles can appear on all types of skin tones but more common in fair-skin type 1 to 3 individuals.
Freckles are predominantly found on the face, although they may appear on any skin exposed to the sun, such as arms or shoulders. Heavily distributed concentrations of melanin may cause freckles to multiply and cover an entire area of skin, such as the face. Freckles are more commonly found on children before puberty. Freckles do fade with age in some cases, but upon exposure to the sunlight may reappear.
Treatment is rarely needed, especially in cosmetically concerned individuals. Sun protection and regular use of sunscreen is the best way to prevent from occurring freckles.
Treatments are usually safe but expensive in a few when conservative treatment fails. Most often a combination of treatments is advisable to obtain desirable results. Also, the same treatment may not work for every skin type, and freckles may recur with repeated sunlight exposures, it better to consult an expert dermatologist at your nearest being Clear Skin Centre. Few treatments which are commonly applied are listed below:
Regular use of skin bleaching creams, containing hydroquinone and kojic acid, helps lighten freckles over a period of months. Bleaching creams work better in combination with sun protection.
Retinoids such as tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene may be used in conjunction with other bleaching creams to enhance the lightening effect.
Chemical peels carried out by professionals can also help lighten freckles and improve irregular pigmentation in some types of freckles.
Cryosurgery and Electrosurgery
This treatment is to be carried only with experts in the field of dermatology by Freeze or spark lightly with liquid nitrogen and radiosurgery to treats some types of freckles and in some patients who can’t afford laser treatment. It is noted that every patient doesn’t respond well to this form of therapy.
Lasers & Light Therapy:
Several types of lasers and light are quite safe, with a high success rate with extremely low risk in treating freckles effectively. Among lasers, Q-switched lasers are the gold standard, with the highest success rate in treating freckles. Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatment is quite effective for another laser-based technique, to tackle freckles.