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

How can freckles be prevented?

Many people would rather not develop freckles or, if they already have freckles, they would like to get rid of them. Freckle prevention is obviously better than developing them and then needing to treat them. Therefore, anyone with an hereditary tendency to freckle -- who freckles easily -- should wear sunscreen whenever appropriate and also minimize their sun exposure. The aim here is twofold -- to suppress their tendency to produce freckles and, much more importantly, to reduce

their risk of developing skin cancer. The tendency to freckle easily goes along with the tendency to sun-sensitive skin cancer. Freckles are a warning to people who have them that their skin is highly vulnerable to sunburn and to skin cancer.There are steps that can be taken to prevent them, lessen their appearance, and fade them considerably.

Use sunscreen. Wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. The product should contain one or more of the following active ingredients: Parsol® 1789 (avobenzone), titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Apply the sunscreen every day when you get up, and reapply every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

Wear a hat. Get a broad-brimmed hat without mesh or weave that could let light through. A hat is a great way to take shade with you everywhere, and it will keep the sun from directly hitting your face.

Avoid peak sun hours. If you can, don’t go outside between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., as this is when the sun is most intense.

Stay out of tanning beds. These devices expose your skin to lots of pigment-inducing UV radiation, and it’s only inches from your skin. One tanning bed session is equal to a whole day spent at the beach.

Check your medications. Some things you take internally or apply to your skin can cause skin sensitivity. Among the medicines that can cause this are certain antibiotics and birth control pills. Topical products that can cause sun sensitivity include alpha hydroxy acids and benzoyl peroxide. You need to be especially careful in the sun if you use these. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to determine if what you use on your face or take internally would make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Don’t stop taking any medications without your doctor’s orders.

Try fading creams. Look for over-the-counter fading creams containing hydroquinone. Make sure to buy a preparation that comes in a tube or pump so the product is not repeatedly exposed to air and light. This would cause the ingredients to break down and become ineffective. Follow the directions and precautions on the package.

Be consistent. Even a few minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day will add up, such as the rays your skin absorbs from walking to the mailbox and getting in and out of your car. And don’t rely on your car or house windows to shield you from the rays, because most of the pigment-causing UV rays still come through them. You will set yourself back in your skin-lightening endeavor if you aren’t consistent in your efforts.

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,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005