Freckles: The Basics

The medical term for a freckle is ephelis. Freckles are small, round dots on an individual's skin which can be irregularly spaced on various parts of the body, including the face, neck, chest, arms, and legs. Babies are not born with freckles, but they can appear as early as age one. They can vary in color from a light reddish brown to a chocolate color that is almost black, but they are always a little darker than the surrounding skin. Usually, freckles are somewhat uniform in color on an individual, and they are much more prevalent on people with fair skin. Some people are born with an inherited tendency toward developing freckles.


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