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All about freckles causes of freckles freckle development freckle removal treatments to remove freckles prevention of freckles

How do freckles develop?

Freckles are caused by uneven distribution of skin pigment melanin in the skin. Freckles become more prominent when exposed to sunlight because the skin produces extra melanin in sunny conditions. The sun and sun-tanning lights emit ultraviolet (UV) rays. After exposure to sunlight, the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) thickens and the pigment-producing cells (the melanocytes) in the skin produce the pigment melanin at an increased rate. After exposure to sunlight,

the outer layer of the skin thickens and the pigment-producing cells in the skin produce melanin at an increased rate. (This gives some protection against future sun exposure.)

People differ of course a great deal in their reaction to sunlight. To take an extreme example, there is no pigmentation in the skin of an albino because of a defect in melanin metabolism. On the other hand, people with dark complexions are relatively less sensitive to sun exposure than fair-skinned persons. However, persons with dark skin are not entirely resistant to the effects of the sun and they, too, can become sunburned with prolonged exposure. Persons with blonde or red hair are especially susceptible since they tend to be the fairest skinned. Irrespective of skin color, it is the uneven distribution of the melanin pigment in the skin that results in freckling. A freckle is nothing more than an unusually heavy deposit of melanin at one spot in the skin.

Freckles, age spots and pregnancy mask have several things in common. They are formed in sun exposed areas: face, hands, chest and back. These unwelcome brown patches are nothing more than accumulation of skin pigment melanin which is always produced by the skin. The amount of melanin present determines the skin tone of an individual. Extra melanin is produced by the body in response to sun exposure. It absorbs UV rays and does not allow them to penetrate deep into the skin layers as it would be damaging.

More information on freckles

What are freckles? - Freckles are small brownish spots on human skin, predominantly found on the face. Freckles discrete specks or spots which develop over sun-exposed surfaces, particularly the cheeks and nose.
What causes freckles? - The basic cause of freckles is special cells in the skin that produce a pigment called melanin. Excessive build-up of melanin in one place will result in freckles.
How do freckles develop? - Freckles are caused by uneven distribution of melanin in the skin. Freckles become more prominent when exposed to sunlight because the skin produces extra melanin in sunny conditions.
How to get rid of freckles? - Bleaching agents are the most conventional treatment for freckles. Freckle removal is easily achieved with lasers. Retin-A is a good treatment.
What treatments are available to remove freckles? - Conventional treatments for freckles include cosmetic cover-ups and bleaching creams. More modern treatments for lightening freckles include freezing them with liquid nitrogen.
How can freckles be prevented? - Freckle prevention is obviously better than developing them and then needing to treat them. Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. 
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005