Freckles are light brown or tan in color. These flat and tiny (smaller than the head of a pin) speckles develop randomly on the face, cheeks and nose. Freckles are harmless and painless. They are most likely a sign of sun damage. As we age, freckles become darker and more prominent, turning into age spots (also known as "liver spots") on the chest, arms and hands.
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Freckles occur frequently on light, fine skin - especially when it's exposed to prolonged sunlight. Although most freckles are small, they will grow and run together after years of exposure to harmful sunrays.
Freckles appear in two major types - ephelides and lentigines. Ephelides are obvious in summer, but can disappear in winter. As time passes, ephelide freckles normally become less visible. Lentigine freckles, on the other hand, commonly develop on the skin of older people who don't wear adequate sun protection.
To avoid developing freckles, you should always apply sunscreen
, with SPF 15 or higher, to protect your skin from UVA and UVB radians. There is also prescription bleaching creams available to lighten the dark pigment. Laser treatment is a costly, but effective way to remove a large area of freckles.