What Causes Freckles?

What Are Freckles? Ask Spectrum Dermatology in Scottsdale, Arizona

What Causes Freckles?

Freckles aren’t complicated. What freckles are, are merely a pigment (color) called “melanin.” Melanin is a chemical made by skin cells called “melanocytes.” Melanin helps to protect the skin from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays by reflecting or absorbing them. Freckles are natural, and they are not harmful. Even though some people with freckles don’t like them and would love to get rid of them, freckles are certainly not a sign of any health problems including skin cancer, brown age spots, eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis.

Freckles are triggered by exposure to sunlight. The sun’s ultraviolet radiation causes melanocytes to make more melanin, which can cause freckles to appear or become darker. The melanin in your skin is what makes you look tan. The more melanin you have in your skin, the easier it is to get a tan.

People with fair complexions have less melanin in their skin to start with. When sunlight causes their melanocytes to make more melanin, they often develop freckles instead of getting an even suntan like people with darker complexions.

While it is possible that anyone can have freckles, they are genetic. Perhaps your parents have freckles, there’s a good chance you will, too. People with fair complexions (skin and eyes that are light in color) tend to have more freckles than people with darker complexions.

Contact the Scottsdale Dermatologists at Spectrum Dermatology

Do you have more questions about your freckles? Spectrum Dermatology can answer any and all of your questions. Call (480) 948-8400 for a group of caring dermatology professionals who will help you with your freckle concerns.