Freckles are small, flat brown spots on the skin that appear most commonly on sun exposed areas such as the face and arms. While freckles are harmless, many seek treatment to remove freckles or make them less noticeable. In many cases, the best treatment against freckles, and the most cost-effective, is to avoid freckles in the first place.

Possible Risk Factors

Genetics are thought to play a role in developing freckles, as they have been known to run in families. This is obviously an impossible risk factor to avoid, as some patients are simply born with a susceptibility to developing freckles.

Sun exposure is perhaps the most common risk factor associated with freckling. Melanin production is stimulated when sunlight hits the skin. When melanin is concentrated in one area, blemishes such as freckles and sun spots may appear.

Light skinned individuals are at greater risk of freckling than dark skinned individuals and should take the proper precautions to prevent freckling as best as possible. Individuals who work outdoors and who receive added sun exposure are at greater risk of freckling, especially if they are light skinned.

Reduce Risk

Wearing sunscreen is perhaps the best way to prevent sun damage that may lead to freckling. Wearing the proper clothing like long-sleeve shirts and long pants may be very helpful in preventing sun exposure as well. Wearing a hat may also help to shield the face from the sun's harmful rays.

Patients who are at risk of freckling should speak with a skincare professional for further advice regarding prevention and/or treatment.