Freckles are small brown spots that most commonly appear on the face and arms. They are both benign and very common. People with fair skin and blonde or red hair are the most likely to develop freckles, especially in the Summer months.
What Causes Freckles?
They are caused by an uneven distribution of melanin, which is a pigment that is produced by skin cells called melanocytes. Melanin protects the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by absorbing them.
When a person is exposed to the sun, the melanocytes make more melanin to protect it. If a person has dark skin, their melanocytes produce lots of melanin, so they get an even tan. A person with fair skin produces less melanin, so it isn’t spread evenly and instead clusters in freckles. If a fair-skinned person is exposed to lots of sun or tanning booths, their freckles get darker, and they develop more of them.
Since people get less sun during the Winter, their freckles can often fade during that time. The spots may also fade as people get older. A tendency to develop freckles also runs in families, so they can have a genetic cause.
Are They Dangerous?
Freckles are not dangerous or cancerous, but they do indicate skin damage caused by sun exposure. The main problem with them is that they can be confused with other brown spots that aren’t so benign and can indicate skin cancer. It is therefore prudent to have freckles checked out by one of our professionals at SeaMist MedSpa, for they can tell the difference between the different types of spots.
Can They Be Removed?
Yes! Intense Pulsed Light therapy can be used to target the melanin in the freckle. The melanin readily absorbs the light and is destroyed by it. Since freckles sit on the top of the skin, the procedure is quite simple. Only minimal discomfort is involved, if any. One of the best things about this treatment is that no recovery time is needed. As such, patients can return to their everyday activities immediately after their IPL session.
Before undergoing any type of treatment at SeaMist MedSpa in South Kingstown, our team of medical professionals will evaluate the condition of the individual and determine if they are a good candidate for treatment. During a consultation at our office, we would be delighted to address any questions or concerns you may have. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.