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Understanding The Danger Of Freckles

Mar 14, 2008
Those with fair skin are much more likely to have several freckles, whereas those with darker skin do not have nearly as many. Freckles are small flat brown spots that appear on sun-exposed skin, generally on the face and arms. Freckles become darker with greater sun exposure as some are more susceptible to obtaining freckles than others. Ultraviolet rays from the sun activate pigment producing skin cells (melanocytes) which produce pigment (melanin). That increased amount of melanin results in dark or brown spots on the skin. These spots are common and most everyone obtains some at some point in life.

People who have a great amount of freckles may have an increased risk of having skin cancer later in life compared to those who do not have freckles. If the size or shape of your freckles is changing, it would be ideal to seek a physician to be evaluated. Freckles are a very common skin trait, although if not considered properly, it can lead to other skin complications later in life.

If you are not prone to obtaining freckles, be aware of the dangers of skin cancer due to excessive sun exposure. The best and most effective way to prevent freckles is to limit your sun exposure time. If you do go in the sun a lot, always be sure to wear sunblock. They are a part of the natural aging process, and unlike age spots, freckles are common in childhood and fade with age in some cases. Freckles are more common in those with lighter skin, red or blond hair, and in those who sunburn easily. They are not a skin disorder. Having freckles is generally a genetic trait, and although are found predominantly on the face, may appear on any skin exposed to the sun. Freckles also commonly are found in clusters where the produced melanin is more concentrated. A person with a good amount on their face are often embarrassed, however some people find it attractive and gives the person the character.

Bleaching creams, chemical peels and laser resurfacing are other treatment options available besides limited sun exposure to limit the appearance of freckles. Talk with your physician to decide what the best treatment is for you, and consider all the benefits and risks that go along with the suggested procedure. Freckles will reappear if they have been altered with creams or lasers and not protected from the sun. The cost of these other treatments can be very expensive and risky, but in some cases allow the freckles to diminish after time.

Since freckles are harmless and normal, you should not worry too much about the possible dangers later in life. If you feel that the clusters are increasing and they are looking darker and constantly change in shape, please see a local skin care physician today. You can decide which treatment option will best help your situation, by lightening or even removing freckles that you might think are cancerous and can lead to other serious skin problems.
About the Author
DermaNetwork.org is a leading provider of freckle information and resources. Find a local skin care professional today.
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