Happy Summer, Leading Ladies! The sun is in full force now and, if you are one who gets freckles, your face may be a sign of the season. People with freckles are keenly aware of their sun exposure because freckles are only “activated” by sunlight. Here’s everything you want to know about freckles:
- Freckles are concentrated spots of melanin, a skin darkening pigment, that comes out when skin is exposed to sunlight. For those without freckles, melanin tans evenly when exposed to the sun.
- No one is born with freckles because freckles are a direct reaction to the sun.
- However, tendency for freckles is genetic. The dominant MC1R gene controls melanin.
- Children as young as one year old can develop freckles.
- There are two types of Freckles: flat, light brown ephelides are the most common and they get darker and lighter based on sun exposure. Lentigines are also known as age spots and they generally remain a consistent color.
- Freckles are more common among people with light skin and light hair. But not all blondes and red heads have freckles.
- The more freckles you have, the more sensitive your skin is to the sun.
- Freckles themselves are not cancerous, but because they indicate sensitivity, people with freckles are at increased risk for skin cancer.
- Fortunately, freckles act as a protective barrier against UV rays. But still, sunscreen is necessary whenever you are out and about in the sun.
- Like fingerprints and snowflakes, no two freckles or freckle patterns are the same.
- Freckles often appear lighter over time because clusters of melanin are less concentrated. But for some, especially those with lighter skin, freckles become more prominent with age.
- Moles are not freckles. Moles are darkly pigmented skin cells. Moles are usually darker and deeper than freckles that reside on the surface of skin.
- Freckles are sometimes called angel kisses.
- Freckles are associated with cuteness because they are more common in children. However adults with freckles don’t always like that categorization.
- Some people want freckles so badly they draw them on or get freckle tattoos.
If freckles are in your genetic makeup, we hope you protect and embrace them as you enjoy the beautiful summer season!
Sources: Marie Claire, Bobby Buka MD, Health Central and Trending Post