What are freckles?
Often harmless and due to sun exposure, freckles appear as brown spots on your skin. The ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause skin and hair to change colour as a result of the overproduction of melanin.
Who’s most susceptible?
Family trees may be extensive but that won’t shade you from the harsh rays of the sun. Genetics are often key when it comes to increased likelihood of getting freckles but so is getting burnt. It’s important to remember to wear sun protection, including a hat, sunglasses and to find ample shade wherever possible.
There are two varieties of freckles – ephelides and solar lentigines.
|Origin||sun exposure and genetic make up||primarily result of sun exposure|
|Appearance||first visible at 2 to 3 years of age after sun exposure and fade with age||accumulate with age, especially after the age of 40, unlikely to fade|
|Areas affected||appear on the face, neck, chest, and arms||most common in sun-exposed skin, face, hands, forearms, chest, back, and shins|
|Sun exposure||appear mostly in the summer, fade during winter||do not change with the season|
|Size||1 to 2 mm, though they can be larger||2 mm or larger|
|Border (edge of skin lesion)||irregular and well-defined||commonly well-defined|
|Colour||red to light brown||light yellow to dark brown|
For those of you who don’t think highly of this natural beauty phenomenon, you can naturally lighten your freckles by applying a small amount of diluted lemon juice in buttermilk to your skin. The natural acids in the lemon reduce the brown spots without resorting to expensive and harsh laser treatments.