What are freckles?
Freckles can be described as a sprinkling of the pigment protein, melanin, which appears on the skin when the sun´s UV rays come into contact with the skin. The skin produces melanin to protect itself from the sun´s harmful ultraviolet rays. It does so by reflecting or absorbing the UV rays.
What causes freckles to appear?
In most cases, freckles are usually triggered by the over-exposure to sunlight. However, sunlight is not the sole factor that influences freckles. It can be caused due to genetics too. Your genetics can determine how those darker specks will pop up.
Light skinned people are more susceptible to the development of freckles than their darker counterparts simply because of the fact that they have less melanin in their skin. Therefore, when the sunlight hits their face or skin, the skin produces more melanin.
There are commonly two types of freckles and they are lentigines and ephelides. Ephelides are small flat light-brown spots that generally appear in childhood during the summers and fade in the winters. Meanwhile, lentigines are larger tan, brown, or black spots that generally appear on the face or hands. And, as you may have guessed already—they are darker than ephelides-type freckles and they don´t fade.
Are freckles dangerous?
Well, generally speaking, freckles are harmless and not dangerous at all. They must simply be identified as a sign of sun damage. However, some people tend to commit the grave mistake of misidentifying the spots on their skin. They might assume the spots to be freckles, when, in fact, it might be something potentially serious such as the serious skin condition, melanoma. Hence, you must be able to properly identify a freckle.
You should also note that people with freckled skin are more susceptible to skin cancer.
Hence, it is in your best interest to be extra diligent with your skincare routine especially if you are light-skinned and have a job that involves you spending most of your time outdoors.
If you want to prevent the formation of freckles, you should particularly aim to stay in the shade. However, if it is unavoidable for you to stay outdoors, you should ensure that you slop on a sunscreen that has sunscreen protection of at least 50. A high-quality sunscreen can help prevent the formation and darkening of freckles, sunburn, skin cancer and wrinkles. We would also suggest you cover yourself from head to toe while you step outside. In order to protect the skin around the eyes, you can opt to don wrap-around sunglasses.