Skin Freckles

What Are Freckles?

Skin Freckles are dark, circular spots on the skin about 5mm in diameter and mostly located on the body parts which are exposed to the sun like the face, arms, shoulders, neck and hands. They are common and not much of a health problem.

What Causes Freckles?

Usually it is exposure to the sun that causes them. They are just pigment cells (which contain color), that are contained within the skin in small batches.
Freckled skin is usually tan or light brown in color and appears in very small areas and sometimes they may overlap and/or run together.

Persons with light complexion, who burn easily and tan very hard in sunlight are more likely to get them. Freckles have a tendency to become darker and more prominent after sun exposure and are less noticeable in winter months.

The more melanin you have , the tanner you look and people with fair skin have less melanin in their skin to begin with, but some of the melanocytes make more melanin when exposed to the sun so instead of getting an even suntan, they sometimes get freckles.

There are basically Two Types of Freckles

* Simple freckles: Simple freckles, medically known as Lentigo simplex are hyper pigmentation that appears on the skin as a genetic disposition .

* Freckles that are a consequence of sunburn: Freckles that appear as sunburn "solar lentigo" are common and mostly seen on elderly people and may also be termed as “age spots.”

Skin freckles have no health risks, mostly it is a cosmetic concern when there are freckles on the face. However in some cases, freckles and spots demand concern and may result in freckle induced skin cancer.

Freckle skin cancer is a slow spreading skin cancer, which develops on the face of elderly people . If not treated properly and on time, this lentigo can become aggressive.  Sometimes freckles and moles may cause a little bleeding.

Skin cancer can be treated and removed  if it is diagnosed in early stages.

Treatment for Freckles

Freckles can sometimes be home remedied with food products that are surprisingly effective.

* Washing your face with sour milk, helps to reduce their tone. The key ingredient which works here is lactic acid.

* A similar recipe, is a sour cream mask. The thick, creamy consistency is applied to the face where it stays for 10 to 15 mins, to allow the lactic acid to absorb into the skin. After washing off with water, it is a good idea to apply a moisturizer afterwards to prevent drying out of the skin.

* Another home remedy for removing skin freckles is to rub them with lemon juice. The active ingredient in lemon juice is citric acid, which is a natural bleaching agent and it act as a spot reducer.

* Chemical peels and using high density creams with retinol(containing  Vitamin A) also help to remove freckles.

For Prevention of Skin Freckles

The main protective measure, is to avoid sun exposure.  If you must go outside, it is best to use Sunscreens with SPF 30; to use wide-brimmed hats; to wear sun protective clothing (shirts, long sleeves, long pants); avoiding peak sun hours i.e 10 to 4 pm and seeking shade.

Further more Vitamin C prevents the sun from affecting the skin. Make sure you take the recommended dosage of Vitamin C and E, either in food or supplement. Vitamin E gradually helps to equalize the pigmentation of skin.

By Poonam Bindra

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