Freckles

Freckles are small brown spots on the skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In some 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 some people think of like freckles. 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 the face, the back of hands, and upper body. This type tends to be common amongst people with lighter skin tones and hair color. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides. Solar lentigines are dark patches of skin that develop during adulthood (over 40 years old). This includes freckles, aging spots, and sunspots. This type tends to appear in Caucasians. Lentigines are often darker than the common freckle and do not usually fade in the winter. This kind of spot is referred to as lentigo simplex or solar lentigo. The number of melanocytes and melanosomes (cellular structures that contain melanin pigment) is normal in number and appearance. Although occasionally lentigines are part of a certain rare genetic syndrome, for the part they are just isolated and unimportant spots.

The two types of freckles can look similar but differ in other ways such as their development. The freckles appear to both the natural environment and genetics. A risk of burning can increase the incidence of freckles.

Change in the skin color and shape. Diarrhea accompanied by freckles is a common symptom. Diarrhoea may be associated with crampy abdominal pain and/or weight loss. There may be blood or mucus in the stool. Also skin cancer may be a possible symptom of freckles. Moles are often produced at the affected area of skin.

Freckles are thought to develop as a result of a combination of genetic predisposition (inheritance) and sun exposure. The sun and fluorescent tanning lights both emit ultraviolet (UV) rays, which when absorbed by the skin enhances the production of melanin pigment by cutaneous melanocytes. The basic causes of freckles are some special cells in the skin that produce a pigment called melanin. If have melanin in the body, going on accumulating at one place, then it may result in freckles age spots. Hormone Abnormalities can cause freckles since estrogen over-stimulates pigment-producing cells, causing them to generate excess color when exposed to sunlight. People with blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and fair skin are especially susceptible to the damaging effect of UV rays and likely to develop freckles. A freckle is essentially nothing more than an unusually heavy deposit of melanin at one spot in the skin.

Freckles are rarely treated. Several safe but expensive methods are available to help lighten or reduce the appearance of freckles. Frequently, multiple or a combination of treatments may be required for best results. Not everyone’s skin will improve with similar treatments, and freckles can often recur with repeated UV exposures.

  1. Bleaching or fading creams: Products containing hydroquinone and kojic acid are one of the beneficial treatment for freckles. Higher concentrations of hydroquinone (over 2%) may use. These can help lighten freckles if they are applied consistently over a period of months. Bleaching or fading creams are effective in combination with sun avoidance and sun protection.
  2. Tretinoin: Tretinoin (vitamin A acid, Retin-A) also helps to make freckles lighter when applied over a period of time.
  3. Cryosurgery: A light freeze with liquid nitrogen can be used to treat some types of freckles. Not all spots respond to this form of therapy.
  4. Laser treatment: Multiple types of lasers may help lighten and decrease the appearance of freckles safely and effectively. Like cryosurgery, this is a simple and safe procedure with a high success rate and a low risk of scarring or skin discoloration.
  5. Photofacials or Intense Pulsed Light treatments are another method to lighten and remove freckles. This is not a true laser technique but an intense light source.
  6. Chemical peels: It can also help lighten freckles and improve irregular pigmentation. It can used to remove age spots, freckles, discoloration, wrinkles and fine lines. They generally help to make the skin smooth and firm and also help in curing freckles gradually.
  7. Intense Pulsed Light Therapy (IPL): IPL is one of the newer forms of facial rejuvenation. IPL delivers energy to both the superficial (epidermis) and deep (dermis) layers of the skin, the epidermis is spared from damage. Thus, there is virtually no recovery time.

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 freckles and moles for:

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

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

  • Oxford hand Book of Medical Dermatology
  • Clinical Dermatology
  • Andrew’s Diseases of the skin.

Freckles

TUI - Tibot Urgency Index

Freckles are small brown spots on the skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In some 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 some people think of like freckles. 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 the face, the back of hands, and upper body. This type tends to be common amongst people with lighter skin tones and hair color. People of Caucasian and Asian descent are more prone to ephelides. Solar lentigines are dark patches of skin that develop during adulthood (over 40 years old). This includes freckles, aging spots, and sunspots. This type tends to appear in Caucasians. Lentigines are often darker than the common freckle and do not usually fade in the winter. This kind of spot is referred to as lentigo simplex or solar lentigo. The number of melanocytes and melanosomes (cellular structures that contain melanin pigment) is normal in number and appearance. Although occasionally lentigines are part of a certain rare genetic syndrome, for the part they are just isolated and unimportant spots.

The two types of freckles can look similar but differ in other ways such as their development. The freckles appear to both the natural environment and genetics. A risk of burning can increase the incidence of freckles.

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