Are those tiny brown dots on your face, neck, chest, back, and maybe even your legs annoying you? Freckles can often be a cosmetic disturbance for those looking for even skin. Is there a way to achieve skin without so many freckles? And how can this be accomplished?
Freckles are small brown spots that appear on the body due to sun exposure and genetics. There are two types of freckles; ephelides and solar lentigines.
Ephelides are the most common and what we typically see in children, teens, and young adults. Usually appearing on individuals with light skin tone and hair color, ephelides are the result of Ultraviolet radiation. The skin becomes overstimulated by UV radiation and causes melanin to go into overdrive. As the overproduction of melanin takes place, the affected skin cells cluster just under the skin, creating the tiny brown spots.
Solar lentigines are similar to freckles in that they are caused by sun exposure. However, they usually appear in older adults and may be a bit lighter in color. Solar lentigines are often known as sunspots and are less likely to fade away without intervention.
Though freckles are relatively harmless, they are still a sign of skin damage brought on by unprotected sun exposure. This skin damage can lead to more severe skin conditions like melasma, sunburn, and even skin cancer. This is why prevention and protection is key.
Here are 4 ways to help reduce the appearance of freckles.
1. Laser Treatment
Laser treatments have been deployed as a solution to many cosmetic and medical solutions. Lasers have the ability to affect our skin cells in different ways. The Nd:YAG laser delivers pulsating laser light to the treatment area to send kinetic energy to your skin cells. This heat essentially ruptures the pigmentation cells thus making your abnormal pigment disappear. Over time, your skin will eventually blend in and return to its original color.
2. Apply Topical Treatments
Certain creams have the ability to change the pigmentation of your skin. Bleaching creams are known to be effective ways to lighten your skin and rid it of any dark marks. It is currently considered safe and effective according to the FDA.
For a more natural topical treatment, you may want to consider retinoids. Made from a vitamin A compound, retinoids can lighten the skin while simultaneously offering protection against the sun.
3. Get a Chemical Peel
This treatment works by having a chemical solution applied to the face then washed away. Over the next several days, the chemical reaction will cause the skin to blister and gradually peel away. As the old top layer of skin peels away, a new layer of undamaged skin is revealed. This means that the new skin is not sun damaged and therefore will not have freckles or sunspots.
4. Protect Yourself From the Sun
Freckles are ultimately caused by overexposure of the sun. Therefore, protecting your skin from the sun is a good way to prevent the appearance of more freckles. It may not get rid of the ones you have, but you certainly won’t have to worry about further skin damage. To protect yourself, use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher everytime you go out. Limit the amount of time you spend outside. Wear protective clothing like sun hats, long sleeves, and sunglasses. These small steps can go a long way in keeping your body from producing more freckles. You can learn more about sun protection here.
If you are ready to get rid of your freckles, and are in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, just reach out to our experts atThe Dermatology Group and we can help you explore your treatment options. Give us a call today!