What to know about Freckles



Freckles are small brown spots on your skin, often in areas that get sun exposure. In most cases, they are harmless.

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What causes freckles?

It appear when melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color, builds up under the skin. it may look brown, red, or tan.

Sun exposure and genetic factors make some people more likely to develop freckles.

Sun exposure

A person’s skin cells produce extra melanin to protect the skin from sun damage. This is why it tend to appear after sun exposure.

It can appear over a large area of skin and can reappear or become darker in the summer months. It often fade or disappear in the winter months, when new skin cells replace old cells.

It develop on areas often exposed to sunlight, such as the:

  • face
  • arms
  • neck
  • back
  • chest


Genetics also play a leading role in who is more likely to develop freckles based on which type of melanin their body produces.

The body can produce two types of melanin called pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin protects the skin from UV rays, but pheomelanin does not.

The type of melanin the body produces depends on a gene called MC1R.

  • People with dark hair, eyes, and skin usually produce mostly eumelanin and are less likely to develop this.
  • People with red, blonde, or light brown hair and who have light-colored skin and eyes usually produce mainly pheomelanin and are more likely to develop this. For more visit

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