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Are freckles cute? UV-B Radiation activates

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Are freckles cute? UV-B Radiation activates

Freckles, which is also called as ephelides is seen people with fair complexion. In the condition, melaninized cells are concentrated and visible on the skin.  Technically only Melanocytes overproduce melanin granules that change the colouration of the outer skin cells but Melanocytes are not increased. Freckles are rare on infants, and more commonly found in children before puberty

Types of freckles

  • Ephelides: freckle which is flat and light brown or red and fades with reduction of sun exposure mainly seen in people with light complexions.
  • Lentigines;– larger pigmented spots most commonly present at the site of previous sunburn and sun damage.
  • Liver spots: large freckles form after years of exposure to the sun which is commonly seen in older people.

Causes of freckles

  • The main cause of freckles is triggered by exposure to sunlight. The exposure to UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to increase melanin production, which can cause freckles to become darker and more visible.
  • Genetics: The presence of freckles is related to rare alleles of the MC1R gene.

A rare skin finding called axillary freckling (freckles in the armpit) is occasionally seen in a rare inherited disease called neurofibromatosis. These freckles are quite different in appearance from the common variety in both their appearance and distribution.

  • Hutchinson’s freckle is a special type of skin cancer. This is an uncommon superficial skin cancer that generally occurs on the faces of older adults who have a history of considerable sun exposure. If they are untreated they may turn into malignant melanoma.
  • Melanoma: This very dangerous form of skin cancer may appear even in young people and on parts of the body that are sun-exposed, as well as those that are protected. Melanomas can also arise from the completely normal skin without an apparent pre-existing mole.

When to consult doctor

  • If symptoms with one or more uncertain pigmented spots should consult a dermatologist to evaluate them.


  • Bleaching or fading creams
  • Retinoids
  • Cryosurgery
  • Laser treatment
  • Chemical peels can also help lighten freckles and improve irregular pigmentation.

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