If not talking about medicine and modern science, freckles already have too much meaning in themselves. There have always been myths and fancy stories about freckles; my favorite is that they have been believed to be marks left behind from angel kisses. Another tale is that freckles are displayed as a constellation map that captured how the heavens looked at a child. These stories are indeed very fun to listen to; however, it would be smart to know the scientific side as well.
This article will be mainly about freckles, what they are, and how they appear. So if you want to know more about the freckles on your children’s adorable faces, then read on.
What are freckles?
Freckles are tiny discolorations or brown spots found on the skin, on areas that are commonly exposed to the sun – this is why they are normally found on the face. Generally, freckles are harmless, and they form as a result of melanin overproduction. The more you stay out in the sun, the more melanin is produced. That is one reason why freckles may appear to be darker and noticeable after being out on a sunny day. Those with lighter skin complexion tend to have more chances of developing freckles.
Genetics also plays a role in the appearance of freckles. If certain family members are prone to having freckled skin, then there is a higher chance that other members might have freckles too. Normally, nobody is born with freckles; however, they usually start to develop during childhood towards adulthood. Sometimes, freckles do come and go as well.
Why freckles appear?
The main reason why freckles appear is because of exposure to sun or ultraviolet rays. Genes also play a role in the appearance of freckles since our genes determine how many melanocytes we are born with.
Genetics plays a role in the development and appearance of freckles since genes can determine what type of melanin a body produces. The human body can produce two kinds of melanin, pheomelanin and eumelanin. The latter can protect the skin from ultraviolet rays, yet the former does not. Genetically, people with dark hair, eyes, and skin can usually produce eumelanin, resulting in lesser or no freckles at all. On the other hand, people who are lighter-skinned usually have more pheomelanin and are more prone to developing freckles.
Exposure to the sun
As mentioned above, sun exposure is the main reason why freckles appear. Production of extra melanin is done by the human body to protect the skin from the harmful sun rays. That is why freckles tend to appear more after prolonged sun exposure. For some people, freckles can always be present and appear to be more prominent and darker during the sunny month. During the cold seasons, there are chances when freckles may disappear. Freckles that appear due to sun exposure are commonly found on the face, neck, arms, chest, and back.
Are babies born with freckles?
As mentioned, exposure to the sun is the most common and the main reason why freckles appear. And, because babies are not yet and have not been exposed to sunlight, freckles can not appear on the baby’s skin until after birth. Typically, your little ones will start to get noticeable freckles once they have been outside and exposed to sunlight. So a quick answer to the question is no, babies are not generally born with freckles.
Why do only some kinds have freckles?
Freckles do not appear in every child, and that is highly normal. As mentioned above, there are two main components when it comes to the appearance of freckles. The first is sun exposure, and the second includes genetics. Without these two, it is highly possible that your child will never be getting freckles, even if they are fair-skinned. However, if your child will be continuously out in the sun with little to no protection from its harmful rays, there is definitely a bigger chance that they develop freckles. If your child has a darker skin color, they are less likely to develop freckles since they have a good amount of melanin to protect their skin from the sun. Therefore, the development of freckles can be rare.
Freckles vs moles
Although both moles and freckles are hyperpigmentation on the skin, they are entirely different from each other. Freckles, as we already know, are associated with the sun or ultraviolet exposure. Moles, on the other hand, are never associated with sun exposure. However, moles and freckles are similar because they are both common among people who have lighter complexions.
Normally, moles become present or appear right after birth and can have different appearances from one person to another. Unlike freckles, moles can become very dark, near to black, and sometimes appear to be red or reddish-brown.
Are freckles bad? When to see a doctor
Generally, freckles are harmless and not detrimental to health; however, they can sometimes look like some types of skin diseases or even skin cancer. If you think that your kids’ freckles do not appear normal, it will be a good idea to have them checked by a doctor. Normally, people who have lighter skin are more at risk of developing cancer because of a lack of melanin. Therefore, they should be more careful and take extra precautions when going out in the sun.
You may want to see a doctor if your little ones’ freckles turn to itch, changes in shape, grow very dark and bleeds. The ABCDE guide will also be helpful, and you may want to look at the asymmetry, the borders of the freckles, the color, diameter, and if the feckless have evolved or radically changed.
Freckles are harmless, and they might even look adorable and beautiful for some. These marks on the skin, commonly on the face, are caused by genetics and sun exposure. If your children are prone to having freckles, you can help them take extra care by telling them to protect their skin when under the sun using sunscreens, umbrellas, or caps. Knowing the risks that might come with freckles will also greatly help. If you see any new or unique marks or changes on your child’s skin, it is important to seek professional help immediately. We hope that this article has greatly helped you understand all that there is to know about freckles.