People with light skin and red hair often have freckles on their cheeks and nose. These marks may be ochre, brown or more orange in colour for some people and they develop little by little as the person grows. While some people may find them charming, for others, freckles are a source of insecurity.
Freckles are little pigmented spots on the skin. They are skin lesions caused by hyperpigmentation. Melanocytes, the cells that produce skin pigment, produce melanin, which creates ochre, brown or sometimes even orange marks.
Freckles are often scattered over the face. They can mainly be found on the cheeks, the bridge of the nose, the chin and the forehead.
People with very light skin and red or very blonde hair often develop freckles. When these people are exposed to the sun, the freckles can become more accentuated. These people are therefore said to have phototype 1 skin.
Freckles appear as children grow. In some cases, freckles disappear in adulthood. However, for other people, freckles continue to appear throughout their adult life when they are exposed to the sun.
Freckles: the causes
Freckles are macules on the skin. Babies are not born with a face covered in ochre marks. They appear when the child is exposed to UV rays as they grow up.
Solar rays stimulate melanocytes, the cells that produce skin pigment thus, freckles correspond to a high concentration of melanin in the skin.
It is important to note that even though melanin is what causes freckles, they are quite different from tanning. Melanin is split into two quite different components. Firstly, eumelanin produces a dark brown pigment that gives an even, tanned effect. Secondly, pheomelanin creates reddish-coloured pigment. In reality, people with phototype 1 actually only have pheomelanin. When they come into contact with the sun, these cells produce scattered orange macules.
Freckles: the treatment
Today, there are cosmetic medical treatments that can reduce or remove freckles entirely.
Firstly, you can undergo treatment to prevent freckles from appearing. Sunscreen protects the cells from rays and limits UV stimulation. For people with phototype 1, it is difficult to prevent freckles from appearing. But it is possible to slow down their development using this method.
For people whose freckles are a source of insecurity, the freckles can be removed using skin depigmentation. Under the supervision of a dermatologist, depigmentation is carried out using a laser or pulsed light on the face. The laser is manually projected by a dermatologist.
When it comes into contact with the skin, the laser is absorbed by the colored pigment in the skin. The laser then transforms into heat and causes combustion. The melanin is burned and destroyed. Multiple sessions are needed to obtain a conclusive result. The results give the skin light, even pigmentation.
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