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How To Reduce Freckles And Age Spots

Some people only have a few freckles, while others have zillions. What exactly is a freckle and what can you do about them? A freckle is a spot, usually light tan or brown in color, that is made up of melanin, which is a pigment found in skin cells.

Usually, people with fair skin tend to have more freckles than darker skinned people. If you are fair skinned and have red hair, you may be predisposed genetically to have freckles.

For many, freckles are caused by exposure to the sun, though some people inherit the predisposition from their parents. Finding freckles on babies is rare, and while some adults develop freckles, by far the largest group to experience freckling is children.

Because small bodies don't typically produce enough melanin to protect the skin from bright, intense sunlight, the body activates the skin cells to produce more melanin in order to protect it.

In most cases, freckles fade with age, though fair-skinned people may experience freckling throughout life, since their bodies don't generally produce enough melanin either. Basically, the lighter skin you have, the more freckles you can expect.

For most people, freckles may be found anywhere on the body, though face, arms, chest and back are the most common areas. While most people don't care how many freckles they develop, or where they are located, some people don't like them a bit. While it's difficult, if not impossible, to remove freckles, your best bet would be to prevent them from developing in the first place.

The most common method of protecting the skin these days is through the use of sunscreens, especially those rating an SPF of 15 and above. Wearing light, loose-fitting clothes that cover sensitive skin of the face, neck and shoulders is also an option.

For those with more serious freckle issues, bleaching creams may be the next best product on drug store shelves, and fairly reasonably priced. Make sure that any cream you purchase contains hydroquinone and kojic acid, which can be obtained without a prescription. Stronger ointments or creams will require you to visit a physician or dermatologist. However, keep in mind that these products must be used for several months before results normally appear.

Another treatment available, that not only fades freckles, but age spots and other skin blemishes as well, is called Tretinoin, which contains Vitamin A and Retin-A. Again, this type of ointment takes several months to notice results as well. For some with severe freckling, two other options are available, but they can be quite expensive. The first is called cryosurgery, and involved freezing the freckle with liquid nitrogen. The second method is laser treatment, and can combine one or several lasers that reach to certain skin depths.

Freckles are not harmful, but make sure that you know the difference between a freckle and a mole, and know the signs of unusual growth that signal skin cancer such as melanoma. Know your body, and protect it to the best of your ability, to help prevent skin conditions that cannot only be annoying, but dangerous.

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