In the western world freckles are considered attractive, but if you still want to avoid them, you can do a certain amount yourself.
Since it is the sun that makes the small, dark flecks appear on your skin, that is where you should start.
That means you must take care to protect yourself from the sun. Follow this advice for preventing freckles:
- Cover exposed areas of skin with light clothes, and wear a sunhat.
- Only stay in the sun in the morning and evening, and stay in the shade from noon to 3 pm.
- Avoid sunbathing and direct exposure to the sun.
- Use plenty of sun cream. Protect yourself with at least factor 15 as far north as Denmark and Scotland, (preferably a higher factor if you have sensitive skin), and at least factor 30 if you are travelling to the sun in the south. Make sure to use a wide-spectre sun cream, which means one that protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
What should you be aware of?
Freckles usually fade as the summer declines. But if your freckles last a long way into the winter months, you should pay special attention to them. Long-lasting freckles are not dangerous by themselves, but they are a signal that your skin has caught more sun than it tolerates well.
Take extra care and look after your skin in the sun in future. Remember the good advice we have already given about the sun.
How can I treat freckles to get rid of them?
Many people see freckles as an attractive and charming sign of character. But if you are not happy about your freckles yourself, there are various ways to reduce them:
- Skin care
- Fading cream
You can learn more about them here.
Reducing freckles and pigment spots with skin care
A mild and gentle way to reduce brown spots on your skin is by means of good, nourishing skin care.
In Australian Bodycare’s pack for pigmentation you get four products that reduce the visibility of brown spots. You cannot remove the freckles completely, but your skin tone is noticeably improved with regular use.
The effective ingredients help to even and improve your skin tone, and at the same time your skin is nourished and moisturised as you care for it with Tea Tree Oil, natural AHA peeling and Niacinamide.
How to use the products:
- If you use make-up, remove it first. Then cleanse your skin with face wash. Massage it into wet skin, and do not forget your neck and the upper part of your chest. Rinse off thoroughly and pat the skin dry.
- Apply a couple of drops of Niacinamide Serum to the cleansed skin on your face, neck and upper chest. The serum penetrates rapidly into the skin and acts on the deeper layers.
- Protect your skin and give it moisture with face cream. Face cream can be used as both day and night cream. The cream is economical to use: a little goes a long way.
Use the products twice a day for the best effect. Note that it is quite normal if the skin ‘cleans out’ during the first two weeks, and you may risk outbreaks of spots in the first couple of weeks after changing products. It will stabilise and improve after a month's consistent use of the products.
1-3 evenings a week, use Peeling Serum like this:
After cleansing your face, pat the skin dry. Then spread a couple of drops of Peeling Serum on your face – and perhaps on your neck and chest too, if you also have pigment changes there.
Do not wash Peeling Serum off, but leave it on the skin. Leave it to work for 30 minutes, then apply a couple of drops of Niacinamide Serum. Massage it in and finish off with a protective layer of face cream.
You should only use Peeling Serum a few times a week. For some people once a week will be enough, while others may benefit from using it three times a week. Try it out, and find the frequency that suits you and your skin best.
If you have brown specks on your skin and want a more even and uniform skin tone, you will need to be patient.
Your skin will not change overnight, but if you work at it patiently, you will get good results. It may take from 12 to 20 weeks before the pigment oil produces visible results on your skin.
Reducing freckles with fading cream
You can use a fading cream to lighten freckles and pigment spots, to reduce them or remove them completely. Fading cream is very powerful, so use it in moderation and allow the skin to rest a few days if it becomes red and irritated.
If possible, use a cotton bud to target the brown spots precisely, and not the surrounding skin. Do not use any other cream on top of the fading cream when you go to bed in the evening.
Tretinoin or vitamin A acid cream may also help to lighten the brown layers in the skin. Only use the cream during periods when your skin is not exposed to the sun. Children and women who are pregnant or breast feeding should not use the cream.
Get a more even skin tone with a dermaroller
A dermaroller is another method for dealing with freckles and pigment spots. The little roller has lots of tiny needles, which make small, controlled ‘injuries’ in the skin, forcing it to repair itself. This has a stimulating effect on connective tissue and cell growth – so the skin has a more even look.
You can have treatment with a dermaroller at a professional skin clinic, or you can buy one for use at home.
Say goodbye to freckles with laser treatment
You can get rid of freckles and pigment spots with laser treatment. An IPL laser is an effective treatment for dark spots. The laser gives short pulses of light, which penetrate deep into the skin and ‘explode’ the pigment.
This causes a light, controlled inflammation in the skin, so it is forced to stimulate connective tissue and increase the production of new skin cells.
You should expect a minimum of 1-3 treatments to achieve the best results. Always make sure you have the treatment done by someone with experience at a clinic.
Even though pigmentation disappears after different methods, there is always a risk that it will come back. You should therefore be careful about sun protection and preferably use factor 50 to give your skin the best protection. Just a short time in the sun without protection can be enough for pigmentation to form again.
What are freckles?
Freckles are a type of pigment spots, and professionals call them ephelides. They are small flecks in the skin, often 1-2 mm in diameter and brown or reddish in colour. Unlike birthmarks, freckles are not raised above the skin level – they are completely smooth.
There are basically two types of freckles: ordinary freckles which come and go, and liver spots, which are more permanent.
Ordinary freckles are seen in places where the skin is most exposed to the sun in the summer – on the bridge of the nose, cheeks and arms. They disappear as the summer declines and winter takes over.
Liver spots are larger and often darker than ordinary freckles, and they do not disappear when the summer months are over.
Why do people get freckles?
Neither you nor anyone else was born with freckles. They appear as a rule in childhood and show on the skin when melanin production in the cells increases under the rays of the sun. When you are out in the sun, you produce melanin, which can accumulate in brown spots, which we know as freckles.
Thus it is the sun that causes the brown spots to spread across your nose in the summer. The more sun you are exposed to, the more melanin you produce. Thus more hours in the sun will also mean more freckles.
Freckles are not only caused by the sun – they can also be hereditary. Has your mother or father got freckles? Then it is also highly likely that you will easily develop those small brown spots too.
Where do freckles and liver spots typically appear?
Freckles frequently pop up on the face – across the cheeks and bridge of the nose. They can appear anywhere on your body, however. Freckles often appear on the hands, arms and legs, and men who are bald often have freckles on the crown of the head.
All these parts of the body are particularly exposed to the sharp rays of the sun – and that is why freckles typically appear just there. It is less usual to find freckles on the stomach or back, because they are not exposed to the sun to the same extent over a lifetime.
Who gets freckles?
Anyone can have freckles, but it is usually children and young people who find them popping up on their cheeks and noses.
Children as young as two years old can get freckles, but it is often those with fair skin and blue eyes who are most likely to have freckles. This is because fair skin is more sensitive to the sun’s sharp UV rays.
If you have freckles now, you can expect them to become paler and perhaps disappear completely as you grow older. On the other hand, you can look forward to other permanent pigment spots cause by many years in the sun.