What Causes Freckles?
Freckles are caused by the brown skin pigment called melanin. All of us have some melanin in our skin. Usually, this brown pigment is evenly distributed throughout the skin. But sometimes, small areas in the skin contain cells that make much more melanin than others. When the melanin accumulates in small spots, freckles begin to show.
Freckles appear on the skin as small tan or light brown spots. Freckles appear most often on the face, neck and arms. When your skin is exposed to the sun, the sunlight not only darkens the freckles you may already have, but it can also cause new freckles to appear. Freckles are natural and not harmful. Even though some people with freckles don’t like them and want to get rid of them, they’re certainly not a sign of any health problems.
While anyone can have freckles, they are genetic. So if your parents have freckles, there’s a good chance you will, too. People with fair complexions (skin and eyes that are light in color) tend to have more freckles than people with darker complexions. Some people have freckles that fade away in the winter and return every summer. Other people have freckles year-round. Freckles often tend to fade when people get older.