Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

How to Take Care of (Not Get Rid of) Your Summer Freckles

Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

Classic American beauty standards teach us that freckles are a flaw, but I've always loved mine.

The few times dermatologists have recommended peels and products to eliminate them or makeup artists have made an effort to camouflage them, I felt they were trying to cover up the fact that I have elbows—my freckles are a part of me. They're a fact. I don't want to get rid of them; I just want to keep them in their best shape possible. 

A little background on why some people are frecklier than others: “It simply means that you have more active melanin cells in the skin. This is from genetics,” explains celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau.

Freckle-prone people me aren't born with spots (you'll never see a freckly newborn baby). “But pigment cells rise to the surface with age, so they will come out starting as early as age two,” says Rouleau.

Freckling this is due to exposure to heat and sun, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

“I view these as localized pigmented growths that are precipitated by the sun but not dangerous,” assures Craig Kraffert, a board-certified dermatologist and president of Amarte Skin Care. “So whether or not sun freckles are considered sun damage is a matter of perspective and interpretation.”

Thankfully, not every cosmetic skincare expert will tell you to get rid of your freckles.

“A light sprinkling over the nose and onto the cheeks is very attractive, in my opinion! I would never try to erase someone's freckles,” says Whitney Bowe, leading NYC dermatologist and author of The Beauty of Dirty Skin ($15).

However, to keep your freckles cute, sharp, and contained, maintenance is required. “When they start to become very crowded and contiguous (touching) or get significantly darker, it's a sign you probably overdid it in the sun,” says Bowe.

Not to mention, if you are freckle-prone, it means you're probably at a higher risk for sunburn and skin cancer, too. “So flaunt and enjoy your freckles, but let them serve as a warning that you need to be extra vigilant all summer long,” Bowe advises.

To help you stay vigilant, we consulted Rouleau, Kraffert, Bowe, and one other top dermatologist to get their best advice on how to take care of (not nix) your freckles this summer.

Keep scrolling to read their skincare tips.

Paley Fairman

CoolibarSummer Sun Hat UPF 50+$80


The first key to maintaining your freckles (in a safe way) is to prevent the production of more—and it's not just sun that causes them. It's heat, too.

“When the skin is exposed to heat from the sun, hot yoga, and saunas, this triggers melanin activity, resulting in darker freckles,” Rouleau explains.

“For so long, people thought direct sunlight was the stimulant, but we now know that heat is even a bigger culprit of discoloration. A red, overheated face will wake up pigment cells.”

Renée RouleauBio Calm Repair Masque$50


So do what you can to keep your face from overheating: Jump in the pool; apply a cool object to your face, a water bottle, as soon as it feels too hot; splash your skin with ice water after coming in from the sun; or apply a cooling gel mask, which you can pop in the freezer for 20 minutes beforehand. Rouleau recommends her Bio Calm Repair Mask ($50), which is made with plant extracts and glycerin to offer cooling hydration.

Dr. LorettaAnti-Aging Repair Serum$110


Freckle faces: If you invest in any skincare ingredient in the summer, let it be vitamin C. “A well-formulated vitamin C serum can help suppress melanin cells to keep freckles in check,” says Rouleau.

Look for serums with the ingredients L-ascorbic acid and tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, both effective forms of vitamin C which, when combined with SPF, double your sun protection.

PCASkin C&E Strength$95


Moreover, make sure to be religious about your antioxidant application. “Apply products with vitamin C in the daytime or twice a day in the summer months,” advises board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo. 

Paley Fairman

AmarteDaily ExfoliPowder$37


“One of the keys to managing skin discoloration is to be exfoliating regularly,” says Rouleau. That's because dead surface cells store much of the excess pigment found in freckles.

 Exfoliation can be done with acids, at-home peels, gentle facial scrubs, dermaplaning, and sonic cleansing brushes—though it's true that some of these methods, particularly the chemical exfoliators, make your skin more sensitive to the sun.

ElemisGentle Rose Exfoliator$43


For this reason, you might consider a gentle scrub. According to Kraffert, powder exfoliators are your best bet.

“After researching formulations with multiple different plant seed blends and preparation methods in our Korean laboratory, we discovered that for physical exfoliation of the skin, corn seed-based formulas supplemented by wheat and rice bran provide the gentlest, most effective, and most consistent clinical results,” he says.

NeutrogenaPure & Free Baby Sunscreen Lotion$11


What also turns your freckled skin from charming to muddy and damaged-looking is when you start acquiring sunspots, or lentigos. “Freckles are adorable. Age spots are not,” says Bowe. “How to tell the difference? Freckles get darker in the summer and lighter/fade in the winter. Lentigos maintain their tone/color all year round.”

Obviously, being consistent about your SPF year-round is important for preventing lentigos, but it's especially important in the summer.

That has less to do with upping the number SPF you use and more to do with reapplying throughout the day.

“As for reapplication, when out in the sun or even outdoors on a cloudy day, you should reapply another generous layer every 90 minutes,” says Rouleau.

Supergoop!Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40$32


And remember: Whether or not your freckles look well-maintained, it's extra important to make sure your skin is healthy.

Loretta suggests keeping an eye on any suspicious freckles: “If you have multiple freckles on sun-exposed areas, especially the center of your face, just watch for any change in them, including an irregular border, itchy or a new sensation within a freckle, or a color change that makes one of the freckles look different than the others.”

Other than that, enjoy your spots and H.A.G.S. 


Freckles and How They Differ From Other Skin Spots

Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

  • What Are Freckles?
  • The Effects of the Sun
  • Age Spots
  • Moles

a lot of people, you may call any dark spot that shows up on your body a “freckle.” Whether you think they're cute or wish they'd fade away, not all flecks of color on your skin are the same — or are safe to ignore.

Learn how to tell what's really a freckle and how to recognize some spots that may need medical attention.

Some people have extra patches of coloring (or “pigment”) under their skin. They're commonly called freckles, but doctors know them as “ephelides.” You have them because of the genes you were born with.

Freckles often show up during childhood, and you may continue to get more until you're in your 20s. People with fair skin or red hair are most ly to have them.

If your freckles are because of your genes, they will be:

  • Flat, not raised
  • Tan, brown, or red
  • Darker in the summer and lighter in the winter

Natural freckles don't need treatment. They're not a sign of a skin problem. As you get older, they may get lighter on their own or go away entirely.

If you don't how your freckles look, treatments can help fade them. These include chemicals alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and trichloroacetic acid (TCA), as well as lasers and cryotherapy (skin freezing.) A dermatologist will need to decide which treatment is best for you.

You should see a doctor if your freckles:

  • Have jagged borders
  • Are sore
  • Become raised off of your skin
  • Have dark patches or start to grow

The harmful rays of the sun can make your freckles darker and more noticeable. This is more ly if you have light skin.

Too much sun may also cause your skin to become:

A broad-spectrum sunscreen with 30 SPF or higher can protect your skin in the sun.

To try to smooth and clear your sun-damaged skin, a dermatologist can prescribe a special cream retinol, a form of vitamin A. Chemical peels or laser treatments are also options to clear skin damage that you get from the sun.

You may confuse freckles for age spots, which are also called “liver spots” or “lentigines.” They can appear tan, brown, or black and are common in people who are 50 or older. You can get them if you're younger, though.

Age spots are caused by too much pigment stuck together in one area of your skin. This can happen after many years of spending a lot of time in the sun. Tanning beds can cause age spots, too.

If you have age spots, you could also see:

  • More spots on parts of your body that get sunlight ( your hands, feet, face, and shoulders)
  • Spots as large as a half-inch across

Age spots are harmless, but if you don't how they look, prescription creams can lighten them. Sometimes you can have them removed.

Have a doctor check out any dark spots on your skin.

You might mistake moles for freckles, but they're something different. Also called “nevi,” moles form when a bunch of your skin cells clump together.

You can find moles anywhere on your body. For instance, you can have them on your scalp, between your toes, and under your nails.

Almost everyone has at least a few moles. Even having dozens is normal.

You're more ly to have moles if you have light skin. They often appear when you're a child.

Moles may look:

  • Round
  • Flat or slightly raised
  • Tan, black, red, pink, blue, skin-toned, or colorless

Most moles don't need treatment. If you don't how one looks, a doctor can typically remove it ­­with a short in-office procedure. Never try to remove a mole yourself since you can cause a scar or infection.

If you notice any changes to a mole, or if they get itchy or start to bleed, get it checked by a dermatologist. These can be early signs of skin cancer.

The doctor might send a small tissue sample of the mole to a lab for testing. If the test finds cancer cells, she'll remove the entire mole. Skin cancer is easiest to treat when you find it early.


KidsHealth: “What Are Freckles?”

American Academy of Dermatology Association: “Freckles and sunburn (ages 11-13),” “Variety of options available to treat pigmentation problems,” “Moles.”

Mayo Clinic: “Age Spots (Liver Spots.),” “Mayo Clinic Q and A: All About Freckles.”

Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery: “A Split-face Comparative Study of 70% Trichloroacetic Acid and 80% Phenol Spot Peel in the Treatment of Freckles.”

Skin Cancer Foundation: “Melanoma at Its Most Curable.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.


Freckles: Causes, identification, and risks

Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

Freckles are small, harmless marks that appear on the skin. Genetics and sun exposure are the primary causes of freckles.

Some people are more ly to get freckles than others, depending on their genes and skin type. If a person is genetically more ly to develop freckles, exposure to sunlight can make them appear.

Freckles are common in children and may disappear or become less noticeable as they grow up.

In this article, we look at what causes freckles, how to distinguish them from other similar marks, ways to remove or lighten them, and when to see a doctor or a skin doctor called a dermatologist.

Freckles appear when melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, builds up under the skin. Freckles may look brown, red, or tan.

Sun exposure and genetic factors make some people more ly to develop freckles:

Sun exposure

Share on PinterestSun exposure and genetics can cause freckles.

A person’s skin cells produce extra melanin to protect the skin from sun damage. This is why freckles tend to appear after sun exposure.

Freckles can appear over a large area of skin and can reappear or become darker in the summer months. Freckles often fade or disappear in the winter months, when new skin cells replace old cells.

Freckles develop on areas often exposed to sunlight, such as the:


Genetics also play a leading role in who is more ly to develop freckles which type of melanin their body produces.

The body can produce two types of melanin called pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin protects the skin from UV rays, but pheomelanin does not.

The type of melanin the body produces depends on a gene called MC1R.

  • People with dark hair, eyes, and skin usually produce mostly eumelanin and are less ly to develop freckles.
  • People with red, blonde, or light brown hair and who have light-colored skin and eyes usually produce mainly pheomelanin and are more ly to develop freckles.

Freckles are not dangerous. However, as people with freckles have skin that is more sensitive to sunlight, they should take extra care to protect their skin from the sun.

Freckles can look very similar to other marks that develop on the skin. For example, they can look sun spots, also known as age spots, or liver spots.

Sun exposure is a primary cause of both freckles and age spots. Age spots are typically larger than freckles, are more clearly defined, and tend to appear in older adults.

While freckles are more widespread on people with light-colored hair and skin, age spots develop on people with a wider range of complexions.

Moles are usually present from birth, but people can develop them throughout childhood and teenage years. Moles are generally darker than freckles and can be flat or raised off the skin.

This table shows the differences between common marks on the skin:

Freckles Sun spots Mole
Appearance Flat, can appear in clusters over a large area Flat, can appear in clusters Flat or raised, can appear on their own or in groups
Cause Genes and exposure to sun Exposure to sun When skin cells grow in clusters
At which ages do they appear? Can first appear at 2–3 years old More common in people aged 40 or older From birth, or during childhood and adolescence
Where can they appear on the body? Areas of sun-exposed skin, commonly the face, neck, chest, arms, back Areas of sun-exposed skin, typically the face, hands, arms, shoulders, back Anywhere on the body
Shape Irregular shape with well-defined edges Well-defined edges Round or oval, well-defined edges
Color Tan, brown, or red Tan, brown, or black Light to dark brown, or black
Size (diameter) 1–2 mm or larger 2 mm or larger Usually less than 6 mm
Changes to expect Can fade in winter and become darker in summer Will stay the same; may get darker if left unprotected in sunlight Will stay the same; can sometimes disappear over time

People can prevent or reduce the appearance of freckles by protecting their skin from the sun.

Protecting the skin from sunlight will not reduce the appearance of existing freckles, but it can prevent new freckles from forming.

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommend the following tips to protect the skin in sunlight:

  • wearing a water-resistant sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection, and an SPF of 30 or higher
  • covering up with long sleeves, a hat, and sunglasses
  • staying in the shade when the sun is strongest, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • reapplying sunscreen every 2 hours when outside or after swimming or sweating
  • avoiding tanning beds

Freckles are harmless and do not need treatment.

However, if people want to remove or lighten freckles for cosmetic reasons, some treatments can reduce their appearance.

Over-the-counter treatments

A 2012 study showed that products containing trichloroacetic acid (TCA) and phenol are effective in lightening freckles. A variety of topical creams and spot peels contain these compounds.

Other compounds that may help to fade freckles include:

  • alpha hydroxy acids
  • azelaic acid
  • cysteamine
  • vitamin C
  • retinoids

People can also opt for medical procedures to remove dark spots for cosmetic reasons. These include laser therapy and chemical peels.

All of these treatments can cause side effects, such as scarring. Anyone considering treatments for freckles should discuss all their options with a doctor.

Home remedies

Share on PinterestLemon juice may help to lighten dark spots.

Some people find that certain natural products can lighten their freckles, although these methods are not scientifically proven.

  • Lemons: Apply a small amount of lemon juice to cotton wool and wipe over the skin. The Vitamin C in the lemon juice may help to lighten dark spots, although it is unly to be a high enough concentration to make a dramatic difference.
  • Honey: Spread a thin layer of honey on to the skin. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes, then wash off with warm water. Honey has antioxidant properties, which may help to lighten freckles over time.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera contains salicylic acid and aloin. This may help to fade freckles. Use aloe vera from the leaf and apply to the skin.

Using these natural products on your skin is unly to cause any side effects, but it is best to do a patch test on a small area of skin first. If it causes any skin irritation, stop using the product.

Freckles are harmless, but they can sometimes look similar to some types of skin cancer. If people notice any changes in their skin, they should see a doctor, who will be able to check the skin for anything unusual.

People who have fair skin that freckles or burns easily may be at a higher risk of developing skin cancer. They should, therefore, take extra care when going out in the sun.

People should see a doctor if a mole, freckle, or sun spot:

  • itches
  • bleeds
  • grows
  • changes shape
  • looks different to those around it

People can also use the ABCDE guide to check spots on their skin. Look for:

Asymmetry — does one half looks different to the other half?

Border — does it have poorly defined or scalloped edges?

Color — is it a variety of shades of brown, black, or tan?

Diameter — is it bigger than the size of an eraser on the end of a pencil?

Evolves — has it changed shape, size, or color?

If people have a spot on the skin that matches one or more of the above signs, they should see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

Freckles are harmless marks on the skin caused by genetics and exposure to sunlight. If people have freckles, they will need to take extra care of their skin in the sun.

If people have any concerns about any new marks or changes to their skin, they should see a doctor or dermatologist who can check the skin for anything unusual.

  • Dermatology
  • Genetics
  • Pediatrics / Children's Health


What Are Freckles? Plus, When to See Your Doctor

Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

Freckles are small brown spots on your skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In most cases, freckles are harmless. They form as a result of overproduction of melanin, which is responsible for skin and hair color (pigmentation). Overall, freckles come from ultraviolet (UV) radiation stimulation.

There are two categories of freckles: ephelides and solar lentigines. Ephelides are the common type most people think of as freckles. Solar lentigines are dark patches of skin that develop during adulthood. This includes freckles, aging spots, and sunspots. The two types of freckles can look similar but differ in other ways such as their development.

Ephelides: These freckles form as a result of sun exposure and sunburns. They can appear on anyone who doesn’t protect themselves from UV rays. They show up on your face, the back of your hands, and upper body. This type tends to be most common amongst people with lighter skin tones and hair color. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides.

Solar letigines: ephelides, this type tends to appear in Caucasians and adults over 40 years old.

The credit for freckles goes to both the natural environment and genetics. Your risk for burning can increase the incidence of freckles.

In a study of 523 middle-aged French women, two elements predicted the presence of freckles: frequent sunburns and a gene known as MC1R, which provides instructions for making melanin. But the gene doesn’t affect all individuals the same way. There are two type of melanin: pheomelanin and eumelanin.

People whose skin produces pheomalanin aren’t protected from UV radiation and tend to have:

  • red or blonde hair
  • light skin
  • freckles
  • skin that tans poorly

People with more eumelanin tend to be protected from skin damage by UV and have:

  • brown or black hair
  • darker skin
  • skin that tans easily

Solar lentigines

For solar lentigines, the French study also found that several different factors increased the lihood, including:

  • dark skin
  • the capacity to tan
  • a history of freckles
  • sun exposure
  • hormone treatment, such as oral birth control

All freckles fall into the ephelides and solar lentigines category, although freckles and sun spots can differ. Solar lentigines include sunspots, which can sometimes be scaly.

Moles are not the same as freckles. They are still skin lesions but are often darker and not necessarily associated with sun exposure. ephelides though, moles are more common among light-skinned people.

A mole is made of an excess of pigment-forming cells with a greater than average supply of blood vessels. It’s normally present at or soon after birth.

Moles can take on a wide variety of appearances. The color can range from brown to pink and can assume different shapes. On a young person, a harmless mole will keep pace with a person’s growth.

Freckles and moles by themselves pose no threat. But moles can suggest an increased risk for melanoma, or malignant skin cancer.

Do a self-exam to check your freckles and moles for:

  • A – Asymmetry: Draw a line through the middle. If the halves don’t match, it’s asymmetrical.
  • B – Border: Borders of cancerous moles tend to be uneven, notched, or bumpy.
  • C – Color: A variety of colors in a mole is a warning sign.
  • D – Diameter: A mole bigger than 1/4 inch (a pencil tip) may be cancerous.
  • E – Evolving: Report any change in size, shape, color, or elevation to your doctor.

Make an appointment with your doctor or a dermatologist if your freckles, moles, or sunspots display one or more of the above criteria.

Moles can increase risk for skin cancer

The risk of melanoma increases with the number of moles. Someone with 11-25 moles can have a 1.6 times increased risk for melanoma. This can be as high as 100 times more for someone with 100 moles or more.

Other risks for melanoma include:

  • having fair skin
  • red hair and blue eyes
  • a history of non-melanoma skin cancer
  • a history of excessive tanning or sun exposure

In one analysis, the risk of melanoma for white populations was approximately 32 and 20 times higher than people with darker skin. An annual screening is a good idea, if you fall into one of the at-risk categories or develop a new mole.

For people who want to avoid freckles, prevention is key. It’s also possible to prevent freckles while speeding up their disappearance. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on your skin. Wait 15 minutes before heading outdoors for full protection. Do this every day, even in the winter, to prevent further pigmentation.

“You really can’t freckle unless you’ve had sun exposure,” explains Dee Anna Glaser, MD, chair of the department of dermatology at St. Louis University. “Even if you inherit that tendency, if your mom and dad were the most amazing sunscreen advocates and kept you the sun, you probably still wouldn’t freckle.”

Over-the-counter prevention

One study reported good results for lightening freckles and skin pigmentation with products such as:

  • alpha hydroxyl acids (8% AHA toner)
  • Trichloracetic acid (TCA)
  • phenol
  • acid peels

You can purchase acid and chemical peels online. The study above reports Jessner Solution as a potential treatment for freckles. Always patch-test to avoid skin irritation, if you are using a facial peel at home. Wash off the peel immediately if your skin starts to burn and do not leave on for longer than instructed.

Laser therapy

Dr. Glaser suggests laser therapy to lighten or remove freckles. “Some fractionated resurfacing lasers can work beautifully not only on the face, but on the chest, or up on the upper shoulders. Another popular target for these lasers is freckles on legs above the knees, where people get sun exposure from boating and similar activities.”

The fractionated lasers resurface by targeting the water that’s inside the skin’s layers. It drills through the layers until it reaches that middle layer of the dermis. This causes the old epidermal pigmented cells to be expelled, and the reaction leads to collagen remodeling and new collagen formation.

Sunspot removal

By comparison, sunspots don’t generally fade with less sun exposure. Instead, they can be treated with:

  • hydroquinone
  • retinoid creams
  • chemical peels
  • cryotherapy
  • laser therapy

There other lasers that target skin pigments. Instead of going through layers of skin, these laser target and destroy the pigmented areas. The pigment-specific lasers work well on sun spots.

Read more: How do mole removals work? »

Freckles and moles almost always are harmless, but may suggest an increased risk of skin cancer.

Knowing your risk and particulars of the ABCDE rubric for assessing changes in skin pigmentation will help with identifying any freckles or moles that may be dangerous.

Talk to your doctor about your freckles, moles, or sun spots. They’ll be able to help identify spots for you to monitor closely.

Keep reading: How to get rid of freckles »


Freckles On Face & Body: What, Why, Removal & Prevention

Freckles: What Are They, Why Do They Appear And Expert Care Tips

Has a sultry beach vacation ever left reddish or light brown circular spots on your face? There are high chances that these are harmless freckles, which usually develop on fair skin after constant sun exposure.

Some women feel freckles add to their beauty, while others want to get rid of them. In this post, we will tell you how to differentiate between freckles and other dark spots on the face and body. We will also cover various treatment options for freckles.

Freckles are harmless clusters of tiny brown or reddish spots on the skin caused due to sun exposure. They are about 1 – 2 mm in size and usually appear on the face, neck, arms, back and chest. In most cases, they fade away during the winter months. People with a fair complexion, red hair and green eyes are more prone to freckles. [1]

Freckles, also called ephelides, are caused due to prolonged exposure to the sun, which leads to a spike in melanin (brown skin pigment) and melanocytes (melanin cells).

Freckles in some people can be hereditary. The human body can produce two types of melanin – Eumelanin and Pheomelanin. The type of melanin that your body produces depends on a major freckle gene called MC1R [2].

Eumelanin protects the skin from harmful UV rays and is produced in people with dark skin, hair and eyes. Pheomelanin is produced in people with lighter skin, hair and eyes.

Freckles are often confused with other pigmented spots. They differ from solar lentigines (age spots or sun spots) [3] and Melanocytic Nevus [4] (moles or birthmarks) in appearance as well as longevity. Take a look at the image and table below to understand the difference:


Lentigines, age spots or sun spots



Multiple, tiny brown, flat spots

Larger and defined brown spots

Flat to slightly bumped brown spots


Sun exposure and genetics

Sun exposure

Skin cells grow in cluster


1-2 mm

Less than 6 mm

2mm or more

Age group

Can appear in children and adults

Appear in elderly people

Present from birth or can develop in teenage

Who is prone?

Light skinned people are prone to freckles

People with any skin color can develop

People with any skin color can develop

Seasonal changes

Usually fade away in winter

Usually remain the same

Can remain or disappear

Freckles are usually harmless and do not need medical intervention. But a variety of treatments are available to lighten their appearance. However, freckles reappear due to sun exposure. Skincare experts believe that regular sunscreen application goes a long way in preventing freckles.

Consult a certified dermatologist and consider one of these methods or combination therapies to treat freckles:

Use a topical bleaching cream or fading cream containing ingredients kojic acid or hydroquinone (in a concentration of 2%). When used over time, they have the capacity to lighten freckles. 


Always perform a patch test before applying on your face directly as they may cause burning or dryness.

Retinoids [5] are vitamin A derivatives that have skin lightening power. They function by absorbing harmful UV-B radiation. Side effects of retinoids include redness, irritation and sensitivity.

This is an in-office treatment that involves freezing the freckles with liquid nitrogen. Cryosurgery is safe and seldom causes scarring. However, it may cause bleeding or hypo-pigmentation [6].

Laser treatment or light therapy [7] involves the use of light to target freckled skin. It is effective at getting rid of freckles but can cause side effects redness or itchiness. Consult your dermatologist before starting a session.

Chemical peels [8] rely on chemicals glycolic acid or lactic acid to exfoliate the skin. Top layer of the darkened skin is removed so that a new and fresh layer pushes up. There may be temporary stinging and redness that fade away.

Sunscreen cannot treat the existing freckles but can prevent its further development. The best sunscreens are the ones with SPF 30 or higher. Use it at all times during the year. Apply it 20 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.

Home remedies may not be as effective as other treatments. However, people have been using them to minimize pigmentation. None of them are scientifically proven, but here are a couple of remedies you can try:

Lemon juice contains Vitamin C or ascorbic acid that is an excellent skin lightening agent.

Honey contains flavonoids that inhibit tyrosinase [9] activity and reduce the appearance of freckles.

Yogurt contains lactic acid which works a tyrosinase inhibitor.

Aloe Vera inhibits the tyrosinase activity, thereby reducing the production of melanin.

  • Use a sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) 30 or above
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are out in the sun
  • Avoid stepping out when the sun’s rays are at their peak (10 am to 4 pm)
  • Wear sun-protective clothing and hats
  • Start with cleansing and moisturizing.
  • Pick a sheer foundation as anything opaque can make the freckles look muddy.
  • Choose products that match your skin undertone.
  • Conceal your freckles with a good concealer.

Although freckles are most common in skin types 1 and 2 of the Fitzpatrick scale, it can be found in all ethnicities.

The Fitzpatrick scale [10] or the Fitzpatrick skin type test is a classification for human skin color, developed by Thomas Fitzpatrick in 1975.

  • Type 1 – It never tans but always burns
  • Type 2 – It tans to an extent and usually burns
  • Type 3 – Tans uniformly and burns mildly
  • Type 4 – Tans to moderate brown and burns minimally
  • Type 5 – Easily tans (dark brown) and rarely burns
  • Type 6 – Tans heavily and never burns

Freckles are harmless in most cases. People with freckles are sensitive to the sun. So it is important to protect your skin while stepping outdoors. Consult a dermatologist if a freckle:

  • Bleeds
  • Itches
  • Changes in size, shape or color

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

  • Aging Tips
  • dry skin
  • moisturize
  • skin care tips
  • skin damage
  • skin type