1. What are freckles?
Freckles are harmless brown spots that pop up due to an overproduction of melanin, responsible for our skin and hair pigmentation. These small marks come from ultraviolet radiation stimulation and appear on body parts that are exposed to the sun. There are two types of freckles: ephelides which are the more common ones, and solar lentigines which are dark spots such as freckles, aging spots, and sunspots, that emerge during adulthood. They may look alike but the difference lies in the way they are developed.
2. What’s the difference between freckles and moles?
A mole is caused by an excess of pigment-forming cells with an oversupply of blood vessels. Unlike freckles, however, moles are not related to sun exposure and they are still skin lesions that have a darker color. They are more frequent on light skin just like ephelides and are apparent at or soon after birth.
3. Should I see a doctor for my freckles or moles?
They are harmless but moles may represent an increased risk for melanoma or skin cancer. You can check your freckles and moles for
- A- Asymmetry: by drawing a line on the middle and checking if the halves match.
- B- Border: your moles are cancerous if their borders are uneven or bumpy.
- C- Color: Moles that have various colors are malignant.
- D- Diameter: cancerous moles usually have diameters bigger than 6mm.
- E- Evolving: check changes in size, shape, color, or elevation and look for a doctor.
4. Can I prevent more freckles from appearing?
To prevent freckles, Dr. Yassine recommends using a water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF 30 or more 15 minutes before going outdoors. It is essential to repeat this process daily, even during the winter, to prevent more pigmentation.
5. Peeling my skin could help me lighten my freckles?
At his clinic, Dr. Yassine can perform peels using alpha hydroxyl acids, trichloracetic acid (TCA), phenol, or retinol peels to lighten freckles and skin pigmentations.
6. Does Laser therapy clear my freckles?
Laser therapy is also an option Dr. Yassine suggests to get rid of freckles. According to Dr. Yassine, some fractionated resurfacing lasers and pigmentation laser guarantee beautiful results on the face, chest, and on the upper shoulders. These fractionated lasers target the water inside the skin layers until reaching the middle layer of the dermis, expelling the old epidermal pigmented cells and remodeling and forming new collagen.
Some of the latest lasers on the market, however, use thermomechanical effects to remove the melanin pigment itself. We, at Skin Expert Clinic, located in Beirut, Lebanon, assure the best treatment for all pigmentation disorders using market-leading laser technology.