Freckles or ephelides are flat, round, dark-colored spots 2-4 mm in size. They may be the result of stronger pigmentation in certain places and usually the skin around the spots is lighter in color.

For this type of skin formations there is a hereditary predisposition and therefore, if someone in the family has them, it is very likely that they will also appear in you.

They are usually of no clinical significance and do not cause any health problems.

Freckles are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and are therefore more saturated during and after exposure to sunlight.

Although this type of skin spots can appear anywhere on the body, they are most often located on exposed parts of the skin.

There are 2 main types:

• Ephelides – these are flat red or light brown spots that usually appear in the summer months and disappear in the winter and can be hereditary.
• Lentigines – small yellow-brown, brown or black spots, which are darker than ephelides, do not fade in winter and are of genetic origin.

What are the symptoms?

Freckles can look like dark spots on the skin. They may be more clearly visible on the skin of the face, especially on and around the nose.

People with lighter skin are more prone to the appearance of such pigment spots when exposed to sunlight.

What are the causes?

• The appearance of this type of pigment spots is predetermined by the presence of certain genes. Therefore, both parents are carriers of these genes, most likely freckles will appear in their child.

• Rare diseases such as xeroderma pigmentosum causing increased sensitivity to ultraviolet rays.

• Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause ephelides to appear or increase in number in fair-skinned people. In them, the amount of melanin is less and this is the main reason for the appearance of pigment spots.

Hormonal imbalance can cause the appearance of multiple pigment spots. Higher estrogen levels in women probably stimulate pigment-producing cells, resulting in multiple sunspots.

Treatment of freckles

Ephelides and lentigines can look unsightly and present a cosmetic problem for many. To deal with them you can do the following:

• Apply sour cream on your face. Do not rinse until the curd is completely dry, then remove with a soft damp cloth;

• Drop some lemon juice on your fingers and apply it on the affected area. Lemon juice will lighten dark spots.

• If the regular application of fruit and vegetable masks, such as apricots, strawberries, cucumbers and red currants, will help fade pigment spots;

Wash your face with yogurt – lactic acid gently cleanses the skin and reduces irritation and prevents dryness;

• Warm some honey and apply it to the affected areas with circular movements and light pressure on the skin with your fingers. Leave it like this for about 10 minutes and rinse your face with warm water and then with lukewarm water. Mix a small amount of wheat germ into the honey before applying.

Onions can also be used to remove skin blemishes, including age spots. Cut a red onion in half and rub on the spots 2 times a day. Continue until they fade completely.

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