Freckles are spots of increased pigment, produced by cells called melanocytes, which makes melanin the substance that gives skin its color. Freckles become darker when the production of melanin increases, triggered by exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light. Unlike moles, freckles are flat and rarely larger than the size of a pea. And while moles may appear anywhere on the skin, freckles are ordinarily limited to sun-exposed areas.
Common Causes of Freckles:
1. Sun exposure is believed to be one of the common factors of developing freckles. Freckles will fade when sun exposure is reduced or eliminated.
2. Fair skin is another factor, since there is less overall melanin in fair skin to absorb UV light, pigment cells produce melanin at an increased rate. Similarly freckles are influenced by genetic factor.
3. Fluctuating hormones can cause freckles since estrogen over-stimulates pigment-producing cells, causing them to generate excess color when exposed to sunlight.
1. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Look for product that contains zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or Parsol 1789, each of these ingredients blocks the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
2. Apply bleaching cream. Over-the-counter products usually contain the lightening agent’s kojic acid or hydroquinone. If you need something stronger the doctor can prescribe you a cream that contains 4% hydroquinone.
3. See a dermatologist.