A freckle is basically a flat circular spot that is usually about the size of the head of a nail. It mostly appears on the area of the skin that is overexposed to sunlight. Freckles can be yellow, tan, brown, light brown, or black. In most cases, the freckles are darker than the skin around them.
What are dark freckles and how are they formed you ask?
Well, when you are exposed to the sun´s harmful UV rays, the skin produces melanin in a bid to protect the skin. Now, melanin is essentially a dark biological pigment found in the skin. People of fair complexion are likelier to develop freckles than people of dark complexion. Fair-skinned people have less melanin in their skin. Hence, when the sunlight causes their skin to produce more melanin, they often form freckles.
In some cases, the melanocytes (melanin) spread out evenly and appear something like a tan or wash of darkening skin. However, that doesn´t happen to everyone. In other people, the melanocytes group together in clumps and cause a peppering of freckles.
Therefore, if you get freckles when you bask in the sun, you should understand that your skin is more sensitive to the sunlight.
Regrettably, sunlight is not the only factor that influences freckles. It can be caused due to genetic pigmentation too. Basically, your genetics can determine how those darker specks will pop up.
There are commonly two types of freckles and they are Lentigines and Ephelides. Ephelis is a small flat light-brown spot that generally appears in childhood during the summers and fades in the winters. Meanwhile, lentigines are larger tan, brown, or black spots that generally appear on the face or hands at any age. And, as you may have guessed already—they are darker than Ephelides-type freckle and they don´t fade.
How to prevent dark freckles?
It is possible for you to delay and prevent the formation of freckles. Basically, you should aim to stay in the shade for as long as possible. However, if it isn´t possible for you to stay indoors or under shade, you should ensure that you at least put on a sunscreen that has a sunscreen protection cream. A high-quality sunscreen can help prevent the formation and darkening of freckles, sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles.
It is also advisable for you to cover yourself properly from head to toe and ensure that your skin isn’t exposed to the sun´s harmful rays. In order to protect the skin around the eyes, you can opt to don wrap-around sunglasses. If you are worried about your skin spots, ask a dermatologist to check your predisposition to skin cancer (melanoma).
Read our expert article Early Sings of Skin Cancer and check if everything goes well