Freckles are small spots that develop on the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis. They are often reddish in color, but can be yellow, tan, brown or black, depending on skin pigmentation.
What Causes Freckles?
Freckles are caused by the sun. Too much sun exposure, either outdoors or in a tanning bed, can produce freckles. Freckles are created when melanocytes, pigment-producing cells that protect the skin from the sun’s rays, are damaged.
Are Freckles Harmful?
While freckles aren’t harmful, they are a warning sign. The development of freckles is an indicator that the skin has been exposed to too much sun and its natural defense systems cannot keep up.
What Should I Do If I’m Getting Freckles?
The first response to freckles should be to cover up, with clothing, sunscreen, or both. If your body is producing freckles, you’ve been given a clear indicator that your skin’s defense system isn’t able to adequately defend itself against the amount of sun exposure it’s getting.
The next step is to have new freckles examined by a medically-trained professional. While freckles are harmless, other, more serious skin conditions are sometimes mistaken for freckles. It’s always a good idea to get a professional opinion.
Can I Get Rid of Freckles Once I Have Them?
The appearance of freckles can fade over time with controlled sun exposure and the use of sunscreen.
Freckles can also be treated and removed through a variety of treatments, including skin bleaching products, chemical peels and laser treatments. It’s a good idea to treat freckles with the help of a medically-trained professional.
To explore your options for treating or removing freckles, contact the Skin & Cancer Center of Scottsdale at (480) 596-1110.