Freckle

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What is a freckle?

Brown spots and freckles (also called ephelides and lentigo) are a result of sun-exposed areas of skin.

The difference is that an ephelides tends to fade during winter, while lentigo persists in the absence of sunlight.

Ephelides also tend to appear in childhood (age 2 or 3), while lentigo are more linked to ageing (over the age of 40). Ephelides are also generally smaller than lentigo and often lighter in colour.

Ephelides tend to fade with age, while lentigo become more noticeable with age and are also called liver spots or age spots.

Ephilides tend to impact top part of the body, face arms, neck and chest while lentigo is more prominent on top and bottom areas including shoulders, chest, forearms, back of hands, face and shins.

Typically freckles are harmless, but like any lesion, should be watched for changes.

Both types of freckles can occur in the same individual.

 

Who gets freckles and what are the risk factors for freckles?

  • Genetics play a big part here. 
  • Typically freckles are very common in fairer people, especially in red heads, also people with darker skin types can get freckles too.
  • Any “freckles” that change in size, shape or raise or bleed should be seen by your doctor or dermatologist to be evaluated for skin cancer. 

 

How do you treat freckles?

Freckles will not go away completely but can be significantly lightened with

  • Topical acids and chemical peels to slough off the top layer of skin and stimulate new skin growth.
  • Liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy which can cause the areas to become dark and shed in a few days.
  • Reinoids and retinols to stimulate new skin production.

 

Can I prevent getting more freckles?

  • The best way to prevent new freckles is to be sun protection savvy.
  • Always apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, (SPF) of 30 or higher.
  • Use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days and in the winter.
  • Don’t forget to reapply every two hours or sooner if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Wear a sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sun protective clothing outdoors.
  • Use the SunSmart App and avoid peak UV hours, usually between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
  • Always apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, (SPF) of 30 or higher.
  • Use sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days and in the winter.
  • Don’t forget to reapply every two hours or sooner if you’re swimming or sweating.
  • Wear a sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and sun protective clothing outdoors.

 

 

Sources 

DermNet Freckles

Freckles what are they? Cleveland Clinic