They are nothing but a cluster of tiny dark spots on the face and are not raised like moles. Freckles are flat and are not harmful or painful and people may not like their appearance on the face.
Freckles are commonly found in people with skin type l, ll, lll. They are very common in In western countries. In Pakistan, usually, people with a lighter skin tone can get freckles. Especially, females are more likely to get freckles as their skin is more prone to sunburn and tanning. Freckles are often confused with melasma.
They are mainly caused due to the excess of melanin in your body. When the production of melanin increases in your body, dark patches can occur on your skin. The number of melanin pigments increases due to sun exposure or genetic predisposition.
Usually, the color of freckles remains the same. Sometimes, it may vary due to external reasons like sun exposure.
What are the types of freckles?
Most commonly they are of two types:
- Ephelides freckle
- Solar lentigines freckle
1. Ephelides freckle:
Ephelides are tiny, flat, tan-colored spots. The size of the ephelides is about 1 to 2 mm and are more seen in summer. Freckles are present in people with reddish hair, bright eyes, and light skin.
2. Solar lentigines freckle:
Solar lentigines are large pigmented spots. They are isolated. They are usually found in areas where sunburn is very common due to sun exposure and are also common in older people. This type of freckle is darker than common freckles. They don’t get fade during winter and these are also name age spots or liver spots. Freckles are not harmful to the skin but they can affect the self-esteem of people. So, these people need treatment.
How to treat freckles?
There are various medical treatments available. Dermatologists assess the skin to understand the intensity of the freckles. Then they give you a personalized treatment. The treatment of the freckles may depend on the type and the darkness of the freckles.
Medical treatments that include chemical peels, retinoids, topical creams, and lasers are used to treat freckles.
1. Different chemicals:
Products like alpha hydroxy acids, trichloroacetic acid, phenols, or acid peels help to lighten the freckles and skin pigmentation.
2. Topical cream:
The second treatment for the treatment of freckles is use of topical cream. Skin-lightening creams that have the ingredient hydroquinone can also helpful in the treatment of freckles. And the other thing name Retinoids are helpful to improve the appearance of the skin.
3. Medicated skin-lightening creams:
The third treatment is the use of Medicated skin-lightening cream. All those skin-lightening creams contain ingredients like hydroquinone, Azelaic acid, Arbutin, and kojic acid which can lighten your skin and also reduce the freckles. Hydroquinone's other function is to help in the reduction of extra production of melanin. So, those creams that have a combination of fading and bleaching creams are the most effective measure for freckles and sun protection.
The fourth treatment is Retinoids, which improve sun-damaged skin and absorb ultraviolet radiation. So, it can lighten freckles and prevent their recurrence. It helps to accelerate skin cell turnover and destroy accumulated melanin pigment in the body. Usually, bleaching creams are made of ingredients known as retinoids. Creams that contain adapalene, tazarotene, and tretinoin acid can be helpful to lighten your freckles. With the use of these creams constantly freckles can be reduce.
5. Chemical peels:
The fifth treatment is chemical peels. Chemical peels help in exfoliation and remove the outermost layer of skin. Exfoliation helps to reduce freckles and make skin softer and smoother. The chemical peels come in three different strengths. It depends on the depth of skin penetrated: superficial, medium, and deep. Chemical peels also remove freckles on the arms, hands, and face. They may cause temporary redness, irritation, crusting, and swelling, and also takes a week or two for recovery. During this period, it's important to avoid the sun and apply a topical ointment daily to promote healing and soothe skin.
The sixth treatment is cryotherapy. In this treatment, liquid nitrogen is use to destroy and freeze abnormal skin cells. Due to these reason pigmented freckles occurs and they cause white color freckled lesions. As a result, this restores the normal pigmentation of the skin. This is a safe procedure. It requires no hospitalization and no anesthesia. Its recovery period is very small. It can cause side effects such as swelling, pain, bruising, blistering, or hypopigmentation. To avoid these side effects a person should follow proper skincare before, after & during the procedure.
7. Laser therapy:
The seventh treatment is laser therapy. Lasers target damaged areas of skin using pulses of intense and force light. It burns the blood vessels underneath the freckles, and also reduces their appearance. So, it may also remove them entirely on occasion.
8. Q-switched ND YAG laser 1064 nm or Pico laser:
The eighth treatment is Q-switched ND YAG laser 1064 nm or Pico laser. And it is a safe and effective treatment for freckles. Lasers don't cause any long-term damaging effects, but they may cause temporary itching, redness, peeling, swelling, infection, peeling, crusting, etc. It takes some time to get the result of all these treatments and a person also needs multiple sessions of the treatment.
Along with these treatments, a person needs to take good care of their skin. And also need to follow some precautions to prevent the recurrence of freckles.
How to reduce freckles naturally?
- Sun exposure can cause freckles and it may aggravate the existing freckles. Therefore, a person always uses sunscreen when he is going out in the sun. Use sunscreen even if a person is not going out and staying at home or an office.
- Do not overexpose yourself to the sun.
- Protect your skin with the help of Hats, Caps, Scarves, a Stole, or an Umbrella.
- Wear full sleeve clothes.
- Eat a balanced diet and healthy diet.
- Incorporate foods with vitamin C in your diet like citrus fruits, kiwis, or spinach.
- Vitamin C inhibits the production of melanin in your body and helps reduce pigmentation.
- Use vitamin C supplements.
Follow a healthy lifestyle and consult with a doctor if needed.Freckles are not harmful to the skin but do not ignore them. For successful removal follow the instructions of the doctor and also Keep your skin dry and clean regularly. And for this Sun protection is the most important so always use sunscreen before going out. You can achieve spotless skin with the right treatment and proper precautions.