Freckles are caused by exposure to sunlight, which stimulates melanin cells to produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. They are not considered a medical concern, although many patients choose to seek laser treatment to get rid of freckles.

Avoid the Sun

The sun is the main cause of freckling. Lighter skinned individuals may be at greater risk of developing freckling and should take special precautions before any prolonged period in the sun. Wearing sunscreen is often helpful in preventing freckling, as well as other symptoms of photoaging such as sun spots. Avoiding sunburn is also helpful in preserving skin health.

Most skincare professionals recommend wearing at least SPF 15 sunscreen, although many say that more protection is needed. Patients should consult with a skincare professional to determine the appropriate strength sunscreen.

Wearing the proper clothing is also helpful in preventing freckling. While wearing a long-sleeve shirt and pants at the beach is difficult, doing so on a hiking trip is helpful in reducing sun exposure. A hat is also helpful.

Family History

For those whose freckles are a result of genetics, there is nothing they can do to prevent freckles. These patients' may turn to treatment through laser therapy or cover-up cosmetics and should avoid excessive sun exposure that may lead to more freckling.