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What Are Freckles?

Freckles are small round spots on the skin caused by the increased amount of melanin on the skin. This is common among fair skinned people and those with red or light colored hair although those with other skin tones are not exempted. Usually freckles are on areas exposed to the sun like the face, arms and shoulders. These small spots are common and benign or non-cancerous and may come in different shades of brown to black or sometimes reddish or yellowish. Always freckles are slightly darker than the general skin color of the person.

Dermatologists call freckles ephelides or ephelis if singular. Freckles are hereditary and appears to both males and females. These can be prevented by avoiding the sun and by using sunscreen. Freckles are usually harmless but there is also a condition called xerodema pigmentosa where a person may develop hypersensitivity to the ultraviolet rays of the sun and freckles develop. If a person is overly conscious of his freckles, he may just cover it up with make-up because freckles do not go away. Freckles just lighten up a bit during winter and darkens during summer upon exposure to the sun. In some cases, freckles fade as one ages.

There is the other kind of freckles also known as liver spot, sun spot or lentigines. This kind does not fade even in winter and is usually found among the older folks.

Though freckles are not skin disorders, it would be wise to consult a dermatologist or a specialist in cases where there are some abnormalities in the freckles or the skin.

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