Let’s take a trip back to the early childhood years. When kids are learning about the world around them, one of their favorite study subjects is other people. Kids tend to want to compare their own features to their friends’ features and try to figure out what’s different. Do you remember times as a child when your friends would compare hair color, hand size, shape, and so on? Tell me if this sounds familiar: “Mom, why does So&So have freckles and I don’t?”
Today, we’re pulling back the curtain on these little polka dots and revealing all their quaint little secrets.
What Causes Freckles?
Freckles are actually caused by a few different factors. The top factor is good old genetics, and the other primary factor is sun exposure.
Everyone has a different level of genetic predisposition for freckles. Some kids form freckles while they’re still little and see their freckles multiplying as they get older. Other people go through their entire lives with barely a freckle to be found. Regardless of your genetics, though, freckles are likely to form after years of sun exposure – even mild amounts of sun exposure.
Are Freckles Bad for Your Health?
If you’re rather freckle-ful, don’t worry: freckles aren’t harmful to your health and they aren’t a sign of a health problem. A freckle is not a sign of skin cancer.
With that being said, if you’ve noticed that you have a lot more freckles than you used to have or that your freckles have gotten darker, it probably means you’ve been getting enough sun exposure to put your skin at risk. It’s a warning sign to start protecting your skin from the sun to avoid issues like skin cancer, age spots, and premature aging.
Why Do My Freckles Look Different Sometimes?
You might have noticed that you seem to have more freckles on some days than others, or that there are times when you look in the mirror and your freckles seem darker than they used to be. There’s a reason for that.
In a similar way to the process of tanning, your freckles often get darker when you’ve been out in the sun because your body is trying to protect itself from sun damage with that extra pigment. When you’ve been out of the sun or have been protecting your skin well, you may notice your freckles lightening back up. That’s why most people’s freckles are darker and more noticeable during the summer while they’re lighter and more subtle during the winter.
Should I Remove My Freckles?
Because freckles don’t pose a risk to your health, your decision of whether to embrace them or treat them is purely a cosmetic decision. Some people love the freckles and others don’t, so do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.
If you do decide that you’d prefer fewer freckles, you’re likely to get results from a brightening serum or pigment corrector like Biopelle’s KNR Serum . There are a few important notes to keep in mind, though. First, skin care products can make great strides in lightening your freckles, but they may not always be able to remove them entirely, so make sure you have reasonable expectations. Second, while some freckles are a sign of potential sun damage, removing or fading those freckles doesn’t get rid of the sun damage that has already happened, nor does it prevent new sun damage.
Can I Prevent New Freckles from Forming?
You largely have your family tree to thank for your freckles, and genetics is one heck of a powerful force, so you might not be able to prevent new freckles from forming entirely. You can, though, lower the risk of developing new freckles or darker freckles from sun exposure. It’s all about protecting your skin from the sun by wearing a sunscreen every day. If you’re prone to sunburn, bring the big shield with a product like Obagi’s Physical Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 .
Do Freckles Go Away on Their Own?
Most features of your skin are here to stay unless you take direct action. That’s not necessarily the case with freckles, though. In fact, many people see their freckles reducing as they get older – assuming you’re protecting your skin from the sun, of course.
Taking Control of Your Freckles
Everyone has their own opinion of their freckles, and they could be a part of your identity that you treasure or they could be spots you’d rather remove. Either way, as long as you’re being safe and protecting your skin from sun damage, it’s all up to you. Make of your freckles whatever you choose, and whichever direction you choose, remember how beautiful you are!
some people have far more freckles than others, but do you know why you have the freckles you do?