Freckles are small, brown circular spots that develop on the face, neck, and shoulders. They are generally harmless and appear mostly on people with a light complexion.
- Genetics: Freckles are passed on from one generation to another. Even the size and pattern in which freckles appear can be similar to your parents in case of genetic inheritance.
- Sun Exposure: The Ultra-violet (UV) rays present in the sun trigger the production of melanin in your skin. The concentration of melanin on a single spot leads to the development of freckles.
- Skin Cancer: Freckles though usually harmless, may occur as a sign of some other skin cancer.
- Hormone Abnormalities: An imbalance in the level of estrogen in your body may trigger the onset of freckles on your face.
- Light Complexion: Freckles usually appear on people with a fair complexion as they have less melanin in their skin. When their skin is exposed to the sun, the melanin production increases and instead of tanning they often get freckles.
Signs & Symptoms:
Change in skin color: There is a formation of flat, slightly darker spots on your face or areas directly exposed to the sun.
- Lasers And Light Therapies– Laser and light treatments are the most effective ways to remove freckles. There are different types of lasers/lights available to remove the melanin from the skin and restructure it. These are as follows:
- Fraxel Treatment:This technique uses laser beams to target a small portion of skin at a time to reduce the appearance of freckles.
- IPL (Intense Pulse Light) Treatment: This technique will project light of different wavelengths for deeper penetration into the skin to remove freckles.
- Ablative Lasers: These lasers remove the upper layers of the skin to eliminate freckles. These lasers are highly effective and can treat freckles in one or two sessions. Types of ablative lasers include CO2 Laser and Erbium YAG Laser.
- Chemical Peels: Chemical peels are used to remove the damaged areas of skin. It contains chemicals like glycolic acid or trichloroacetic acid that penetrate into the middle layers of the skin and removes freckles. A proper regimen as advised should be followed after using it.
- Radio Cautery: High-frequency radio waves are passed through the skin. The tissues present in the skin resist it thereby creating heat which makes the intracellular water boil and increases pressure on the tissue. This pressure breaks the cell walls and produces the cutting effect to remove freckles.
- Topical Treatment: Topical treatment includes using bleaching or certain other creams to eliminate freckles. The bleaching cream contains hydroquinone which lightens the freckles to reduce their appearance. Some creams contain good amount of vitamin A that repair the sun damaged skin and prevent the formation of new freckles.
Duration Of The Treatment
Most patients require only one to two sessions. However, the number of sessions may increase depending on your skin conditions. Each session is kept at least one month apart as the freckles may require two weeks to peel off.