Freckles are small, brown spots on the skin that may be caused by genetics or sun exposure. Lighter skinned individuals are most prone to freckling, although darker skinned individuals may also experience freckling. While avoiding excessive sun exposure may be helpful in preventing freckling, there are certain treatments and remedies used to treat freckles.
Deciding Whether to Seek Treatment
There really is no need to treat freckles, as they are not considered a medical problem. Patients who freckle easily may be more susceptible to skin cancer and photoaging, so avoiding sun exposure is often recommended.
Whether to seek treatment for freckles is up to the individual. Some patients are bothered by freckles and seek treatment to remove them.
Certain types of makeup may be helpful in covering up freckles. Patients should consult a cosmetics expert to match cosmetics with their skin tone. Cosmetics may run relatively cheap at around $10 or may be much more expensive depending on which makeup is used.
Some patients use bleaching creams to fade freckles. Bleaching creams slow the production of melanin and may fade freckles to the same skin color as the rest of the skin. Patients are encouraged to speak with a skincare professional before using bleaching creams, as misuse may lead to skin damage. Similar to cosmetic cover-ups, bleaching cream may be relatively cheap at $10 and may run as high as $150.
Laser therapy and pulsed light therapy are used to treat freckles. The epidermis is not harmed during treatment, as the dermis is instead treatment. Ablative laser treatments may cost a few thousand dollars, while intense pulsed light therapies may cost between $300 and $600.
Chemical peels are also used to provide relief. Chemical peels are available in different depths and patients should consult a skincare professional to determine which is right for them. The cost of chemical peels may vary depending on the degree of the peel and ranges from a couple hundred dollars to a thousand dollars.
While freckles themselves are not harmful, patients should see a physician if their freckles change or grow, as changes in skin growths is one possible sign of skin cancer. Patients should also see a physician if they have trouble determining if their skin growth is a freckle or melanoma, a potentially serious type of skin cancer.