Freckles aren’t limited to fair-skinned redheads; however, they’re most common among red-haired people. Between 4 – 5% of the total world population have freckles.
What are freckles?
Freckles are tiny, harmless marks that appear on the surface of the skin. Some people are more prone to getting freckles than others. It depends on their genes and skin types.
Newborn babies don’t have freckles. Freckles first show up in children between the age of two and four years old, this is due to the fact that the skin needs a certain amount of time exposed to the sun to start making those melanin spots, and they may disappear or become less noticeable as they grow up into adults. People may continue to get more freckles until they’re in their 20s.
What causes freckles?
Freckles are caused by both genetics and sun exposure. Freckles appear when melanin, the pigment responsible for giving the skin its color, builds up under the skin. Freckles may appear brown, red, or tanned. They commonly develop in areas of the body that are frequently exposed to sunlight, like your hands, face, and neck.
Skin cells produce extra melanin so it can protect your skin from sunburn. Freckles tend to appear when you’re exposed to the sun because of this.
Freckles can occur over a large area of the body and may reappear or get darker during the summer months. New skin cells replace old skin cells during the winter months, so freckles tend to fade or disappear.
Genetics also play a major role in who is more prone to freckling based on which type of pigment their body produces.
There are two kinds of melanin produced by the body: pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin shields the skin from UV rays while pheomelanin does not. The type of melanin produced by the body depends on a gene called MCR1. Dark-skinned people tend to produce more eumelanin than light-skinned people, so they are less likely to develop freckles.
Moreover, eye freckles are very similar to moles on the skin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes. When these cells clump together, they form a spot on the skin called an eye freckle.
What is the difference between moles and freckles?
Two of the most frequently observed skin growths are moles and freckles. To tell the difference between the two, one of the easiest ways is to just feel the growth’s surface.
Moles are usually raised whereas freckles tend to be flat. If you look at the pigment, you can get an idea as to whether it’s a mole or a freckle. A mole is usually darker than your skin tone, and a freckle is typically only a few shades lighter than your skin color and may appear dark red or light brown. Freckles generally appear in large clusters, but moles appear in one spot.
The more significant difference is that moles can develop into skin cancer, whereas freckles can’t. Any mole that is larger than a pencil eraser should be checked out for cancer.