Whether you love them or you hate them, freckles are a part of life for many people, often starting in childhood. But how much do you actually know about freckles? Do you have them all the time? Only in the summertime? What causes freckles anyway, and is there anything you can do to prevent them? If you’re interested in learning more about what makes you freckle, read on.
What Are Freckles?
Less commonly known by the medical term “ephelides”, freckles are tiny spots of brown pigment that are darker than the surrounding skin. Freckles are caused by the interaction between the skin and ultraviolet (UV) rays given off by the sun. UV rays stimulate the skin to produce more melanin, the pigment that is responsible for tanning as well as freckling. Freckled skin represents a much more irregular distribution of melanin than tanned skin, however.
Who Gets Freckles?
There is a strong genetic link to who gets freckles, but contrary to what many people think, no one is born with freckles. Fair-skinned people with light hair are more likely to freckle than to tan, but anyone with the genetic predisposition for freckling can get them.
Why Do They Disappear in Winter?
Most people who get freckles notice that more of them appear in the summer and disappear during the winter months. Freckles are most dense during the summer, when the sun is strong and your body is reacting to more UV rays than normal. They tend to fade over the winter months because the sun is not as strong, and the cells get a chance to renew and go back to normal.
When Freckles Stay
Some people do have freckles seasonally, but others experience them all year round. It all depends on the sensitivity of the skin and genetic factors. Many people embrace freckles, but others hate them and wish they would just go away.
The Dangers of Sun Exposure
Unfortunately, people who get freckles easily are often more susceptible to skin cancer, and should be especially careful to protect their skin from the sun. Sun exposure greatly boosts the chance of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and prevention is something that everyone should be aware of, regardless of skin type.
Diligent sunscreen use combined with protective clothing, including hats and sunglasses, are essential to reducing the skin cancer risks. It is best to avoid being outdoors between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM as well, particularly in the summer.
Treatments for Unwanted Pigmentation
While many people think freckles are cute, the look doesn’t appeal to everyone. Preventing freckles requires the same measures as basic sun protection—and it’s not always possible to keep them from popping up, especially in the summer.
If you have freckles and would like to experience life spot-free, then you do have options for treatment. There are some DIY remedies that can help, but good results often require the help of a professional dermatologist. Some treatments that can help reduce the appearance of freckles include:
- IPL (intense pulsed light)
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels
The treatment that is right for you depends on many different factors, and you’ll have the opportunity to get your skin assessed before you make a decision.
Finding a Qualified Dermatologist
Ready to take a stand? It starts by choosing a board certified cosmetic dermatologist who will work with you and your skin to reach your goals. A lifetime of beautiful, healthy skin takes work, and you’ll want the help of a knowledgeable ally to set you up for success.
If you’re looking for an authority on cosmetic skincare, Dr. Diane Walder should be one of your top prospects. Dr. Walder is nationally known for her extensive experience and skill in skin aesthetics, and is often used as a resource in publications such as Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Allure, and Glamour. Dr. Walder and her associates offer a wide range of skincare services in Miami, Florida, and cater to a distinguished clientele, including a number of celebrities. To schedule you appointment with Dr. Walder, call (305-866-2177) today.