Q:

What causes freckles?

A:

Quick Answer

According to WebMD, freckles are caused by genetics and sun exposure. People who have light skin and have less melanin, a chemical produced by skin cells that help protect the skin from sun damage, are more likely to get freckles.

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Full Answer

When the skin cells that produce the melanin pigment become damaged by the sun, freckles begin to develop. The melanin pigment collects abnormally, forming brown spots on the top layer of skin called the epidermis. People who have less melanin in their skin can start producing more melanin when their skin is exposed to the sun. However, instead of getting an even tan, claims KidsHealth, they develop freckles.

Additionally, WebMD states that freckles are very common and are not dangerous to health. People who get freckles easily are more susceptible to developing skin cancer. There is no need to treat freckles since they are harmless. The KidsHealth website claims that freckles can fade over time and that sometimes freckles fade in the winter. T

o prevent freckles, WebMD recommends using sunscreen with SPF 50 or avoiding sun exposure as much as possible. People who would like treatment for their freckles can consult with their doctor or dermatologist to determine a treatment plan that includes laser therapy. Freckles can also be covered with make-up if their appearance becomes a problem.

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