Sun is the powerhouse of energy for every creature. And there are plenty of good things about the sun, like light, warmth, and the opportunity for green plants to photosynthesize. But freckles?
Freckles are common and benign skin problems gotten from excessive sun exposure. Though many people find freckles aesthetically pleasing, especially those who don’t mind using the Instagram freckles filter, that is probably not the case for everyone.
And that is how freckle removal is becoming a popular and in-demand skin care treatment globally. If you are just fed up with your freckles and want to get them removed, you don’t need to wait for winter or shut yourself indoors for months since different freckle removal treatments can dramatically fade freckles and help you get rid of them entirely.
Take this article as a guide to help you know more about fractals, including:
- What Are Freckles?
- The Causes Of Freckles
- How To Treat Fractures With Home Remedies?
- What Clinical Treatments Are Available To Remove Freckles?
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We will discuss everything in detail and walk you through some of the most helpful information that will help you treat your freckles and also stay protected against freckles in the future.
What Are Freckles?
If you notice tiny brown patches on your skin scattered here and there, they are undoubtedly freckles. Freckles are common in people with a light skin tone that appear after sun exposure as a response to the skin being stimulated by the UV rays. Freckles generally occur on the face, arms, hands, and at other places on the skin where the sunlight can touch.
Still, it is surprising that people with freckles know too well that even when two people with similar skin tones spend an equal amount of time in the sun, they still can have a dramatic discrepancy in the number of freckles they get. And with this, we get a clear indication that not only sunlight but there are other contributing factors to the formation of freckles.
Studies have found that genetics play an essential role in freckle formation. To dig deeper, people with the MC1R gene are more prone to get freckles than people who frequently spend time in the sun without adequate sun protection.
But before we proceed to any further discussion about freckles, we want to burst a myth here. Many people think that freckles are like moles. But in reality, they are not. Freckles have no growth like moles. Hence unlike moles, freckles cannot be cut off. And one needs to pursue some freckle removal technology and stay out of the sun to remove freckles.
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Are Freckles Good?
Freckles are not harmful, and many people love having freckles. The popular Instagram freckle filter is evidence of people liking freckles. Therefore there can be a common question in people’s minds, are freckles good?
Freckles are neither good nor bad. Neither do they have any known health benefits nor contribute to the deterioration of anyone’s health. Therefore how excellent or bad freckles are is entirely subjective.
If you are surprised to see some people loving their freckles or some people wishing they had freckles, you might be keen to fall into the latter category, where people run for treatments soon after they notice any freckles on their faces. The cherry on the top regarding people liking freckles is that there are even fake freckles tattoos people get on their faces.
Are Freckles Naturally Reversible?
Since freckles are not life-threatening or have any other harmful effects on your overall health, there is no point panicking if you have freckles on your face. Some freckles fade away with time. But how about the other type?
Yes, there are two freckles types: ephelides and solar lentigines. The first one goes away with age and usually fades on its own during winter. But the latter becomes more prominent with age and does not fade with time.
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Let’s know about both of them in detail.
- Ephelides: Ephelides are ordinary freckles that fade away with time. However, the fading may happen over time and not as quickly as you expect. During winter time, freckles generally fade on their own. People can expect to have a face full of freckles during summer and freckle-free skin during winter. But in other cases, it can take years for people to experience fewer freckles as they age.
- Solar Lentigines: This freckle is also known as liver spots or sunspots. They do not go away over time, even after limiting sun exposure, applying adequate sunscreen, or wearing hats. No matter what you do, those fractals stick around. In such cases, the only tried and tested solution for removing those freckles is to get treated under the supervision of a dermatologist or are trained professional.
Why Do Freckles Appear?
We all have skin. But every skin reacts differently when exposed to the sun. On the one hand, where some people spend hours in the sun and still don’t get any skin trouble, others, even after a few minutes outside, can result in sunburn. The same goes with freckles too. Sometimes even a tiny amount of time exposed to UV light can result in freckling.
Another factor that leads to developing freckles is genetics.
Freckles Due To Sun Exposure:
When our skin is exposed to the sun, it produces extra melanin to protect it against harmful sun rays. And as a defense mechanism of the skin, freckles start appearing after sun exposure.
Freckles can appear over a large area of the skin that can go away on its own during winter. Some freckles can stay longer. The freckles that fade or disappear during winter months fade because the new skin cells replace the old ones.
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The most common skin areas where freckles develop due to sun exposure are:
Freckles Due To Genetics
Genetics plays a vital role in who is more likely to develop freckles based on the type of melanin production in their bodies. Generally, two types of melanin are produced by our bodies called pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin has the potential to protect our skin from harmful UV rays, but pheomelanin cannot do that.
People with dark skin, eyes, and hair usually produce eumelanin and are less likely to develop freckles. But people with red, light-brown, or blonde hair with light skin and eyes can pay pheomelanin and hence develop freckles.
How To Differentiate Between Freckles And Sun Spots And Moles
Freckles can look very similar to sunspots. Sun exposure is the primary cause of both sun spots and freckles. Sunspots are also known as liver spots or age spots that typically are larger than freckles, more clearly defined, and more likely to appear in older adults. On the other hand, freckles occur more in people with light skin tones.
Moles are usually present from birth. However, some people can develop them during their childhood and teenage. Moles are darker than freckles and can be flat and or raised.
How Are Freckles Diagnosed?
Some people are more likely to see a doctor when they experience any spot on their skin. And since we have already discussed the appearance-wise difference between freckles, sunspots, and moles, you can identify it at home even before going to the doctor. Since dermatologists have years of experience dealing with sunspots, freckles, and moles, they can locate freckles through visual examination.
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How Are Freckles Treated At Home?
If you wish to give home remedies a try before opting for a doctor’s appointment to deal with the freckles formation on your skin, you can try many home remedies with some kitchen ingredients. Here we will tell you about some home treatments for freckles that can be of good help.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is the best ingredient to eliminate freckles and dark spots. ACV has malic acid that can exfoliate dark skin cells and lighten freckles. Apple cider vinegar is also helpful in reducing hyperpigmentation of any type, alongside improving the skin’s overall appearance.
To use apple cider vinegar for freckles, you can mix honey and apple cider vinegar and apply them on your freckles. Please keep it for 15 to 20 minutes and rinse it with lukewarm water.
Wild turmeric can do various things to your skin health. It contains curcumin, a compound that impedes melanogenesis. Melanogenesis is the excessive deposition of melanin in the skin that causes freckles. You can combine turmeric with other substances to get better results.
However, if you want to use wild turmeric alone, you can mix wild turmeric with 1-2 tablespoons of milk and a few drops of lemon juice to form a paste that you can apply and leave for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, you can wash your face with lukewarm water and moisturize your skin well.
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Almond oil is an ingredient we all must have in our daily skincare routine. For being rich in vitamin A and vitamin E that nourish our skin and reduce hyperpigmentation, almond oil is a skin tonic that brightens and softens our skin.
Take 2 to 3 drops of almond oil and apply directly on the affected part of your skin with the help of your fingers. You can leave it for one hour until your skin fully absorbs the oil, and then wash your face with lukewarm water. You can also leave the oil on your skin overnight.
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera has aloesin that can effectively reduce skin pigmentation. You can either use aloe Vera gel derived directly from the plant or purchase market-grade aloe Vera gel. Aloe Vera gel stimulates the production of metallothionein that prevents damage by sunlight.
You can massage your face with aloe Vera gel for at least 5 minutes daily to eliminate freckles. Wash off your face with lukewarm water after leaving the gel on your face for 10 minutes.
Honey contains bleaching properties and is extremely helpful in lightening pigmentation. To incorporate love in your skincare regime to reduce freckles, you can combine honey with sugar or salt to make a scrub. Slowly exfoliate your face and freckles, and then wash them with water.
Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that prevents melanin synthesis and tyrosinase activities. Therefore it can decrease hyperpigmentation on your skin, minimizing the appearance of freckles. Combine a few drops of eucalyptus oil with other carrier oil, apply it on your skin and leave it for 15 to 20 minutes.
Now wipe off the oil with wet clothes, and you can follow this skincare routine every night before bed.
How To Treat Freckles With Clinical Treatments
Though natural treatments are simple and natural cures for freckles with no side effects sometimes they are not enough to treat severe freckles and bring long-term benefits, and there is one contradictory statement that can perfectly go with trying home remedies is that anything that has the power to heal also has the potential to harm. Therefore it is better to remember that not every home remedy is made for you.
Fortunately, some certified dermatologists and aestheticians can help us with science-backed treatment modalities to treat freckles. Below we will discuss some of the most powerful and commonly practiced clinical treatments that helped many people get back to their normal lifestyle after having severe freckle problems.
Intense Pulsed Light
Light therapy is also known as photo facials and is a way to improve the texture and color of the skin without surgery. Since some severe damage to your skin causes freckles due to excessive sun exposure, also called photoaging, intense pulsed light can help you get rid of that health condition.
In IPL, light energy targets a specific color in your skin. That light energy is converted into heat energy that makes your body eliminate the unwanted cells causing the problem. Unlike lasers in IPL therapy, lights of different wavelengths are used to simultaneously treat other areas on your skin.
After IPL therapy, your skin generally looks younger and even. And since there is no downtime associated with the IPL therapy, you can get better quickly. A board-certified dermatologist or aesthetician performs this therapy. During the procedure, the dermatologist rubs a gel on your skin and gives you a pair of protective glasses to keep your eyes safe during the course. A handheld IPL device is then taken through your skin, and the session lasts 20 to 30 minutes. The process might take longer if you have frequent problems in large areas of your skin.
Most people are fine with light pulses. Some might get a stinging sensation that feels like someone is snapping you with a rubber band. In many cases where patients don’t want to endure the discomfort, dermatologists also offer a numbing cream before starting the procedure.
After the procedure, the dermatologist applies an ice pack or moisturizer on your skin and suggests you take care of your skin by applying an adequate amount of sunscreen while stepping out, not wearing makeup for the next few days, using moisturizing lotion and keeping your face clean.
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Laser therapy is a procedure that can remove unwanted freckles and works by targeting the melanin in your skin. Laser light is selectively absorbed by the melanin pigment present in the freckles. The melanin gets heated up and breaks down into tiny particles that get removed from the skin.
The working mechanism of laser therapy for freckles is simply breaking out the pigment into tiny particles absorbed by the body. In laser treatment, focused beams of light are used, and a Q-switched laser is the most effective one in treating freckles. Studies have found that laser treatment can treat 50% of freckles in 62% of participants in the first session.
During laser therapy, dermatologists use a hand-held device that emits light absorbed by the pigment in the skin. The light energy is converted into heat energy that damages the melanin and inhibits future accumulation.
Laser therapy is excessively safe with reversible side effects like skin irritation, redness, swelling, and partial and temporary pigment changes. However, it is necessary to choose a board-certified professional to perform laser therapy with experience in treating freckles.
After laser therapy, your dermatologist might ask you to stay out of the sun, avoid lightening skin care products, avoid hair removal and other detrimental activities that can worsen your skin condition. In general, 3 to 6 treatments of laser are necessary to get rid of freckles. But the number of sessions may vary from one person to another depending upon the unique condition of the patient.
A chemical peel treatment involves the application of a solution, especially a chemical, on the skin. People often use chemical peels to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes on the skin. In a chemical peel procedure, the plastic surgeon or the dermatologist applies a chemical solution directly on the face to help reduce the discoloration and appearance of scars.
Peels are generally made of different acids of different strengths. And the dermatologist can suggest which acid in which concentration will work well for your skin depending upon your reasons for wanting Chemical peel treatment.
Although there are different types of chemical peels, trichloroacetic acid is best for treating freckles. For being relatively strong and is considered a deep peel that penetrates down to the lower dermal layer and reduces the appearance of freckles. However, in many cases, doctors use a low concentration of the same acid and consider it as a medium peel. But in such cases, the recovery time may be a little faster, but the resolution time may be longer than deep peels since it only penetrates the outer and middle layers of the skin.
During a chemical peel session, the dermatologist will clean the face thoroughly, apply the chemical on your face, and leave it for a specific time. After the record time, the dermatologist might apply a neutralizing solution, rinse the face with water, apply moisturizer and release you with some instructions for the following weeks.
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Using topical retinoids is also a successful way of getting rid of those spots. Retinoids promote cellular turnover and fade away hyperpigmentation with time. Plus, retinoids can improve the formulas of your skin while reducing fine lines.
How To Prevent Freckles?
The prevention of freckles is effortless. Use sunscreen above SPF 30 and keep reapplying the sunscreen every 2 hours when you are out in the sun. Also, you must avoid stepping out in the sun at peak hours, especially between 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. But if it is necessary for you to go out during that time, wear sun-protective clothing and hats.
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Freckles are harmless in most cases. And people with freckles are sensitive to the sun. Therefore, it is essential to protect your skin while stepping out. But if your freckle problem is derived from genetics or does not go away soon enough, it is necessary to consult a dermatologist to get the required help. Moreover, if your freckles bleed, itch, or change in size, color, and shape, you must visit a dermatologist immediately without wasting time. I hope this article helped you know about freckles’ treatment and prevention options. Keep following us for many such articles.