Are freckles a sign of sun damage?

There’s nothing more adorable than a splash of freckles across the cheeks and the bridge of the nose on a fair skinned individual with red hair. However, many patients who have freckles are concerned that this may be a signs of sun damage. With continued research, we know that sun damage of the skin cancer result in pigmentation changes, and in some cases, the development of skin cancer. What worries patients with freckles is if their adorable freckles are actually a sign that they have had excessive sun exposure. Our team at the Dermatology Treatment and Research Center of Dallas, Texas encourages patients to ask questions such as these during their consultation appointments to find out more about ways to protect the skin and find out if interventions need to occur.

What are freckles?

Freckles are actually a pigmentation that is medically known as “ephelides.” These small, brown spots start in the middle of the face and can spread outward across the cheeks. This typically occurs during childhood, and many patients will notice a reduction of their freckles with age. The pigmentation responsible for the visibility of freckles is melanin. Because of how melanin works, some patients with freckles may notice that they fade more during the winter months as they are activated and strengthened with UV exposure.

Are freckles a sign of skin damage?

Freckles themselves aren’t actually a sign of skin damage. In many cases, they are just part of a patient’s DNA and genetics. However, it should be noted that individuals who have fair skin and freckles may be more susceptible to skin cancer, which makes annual skin cancer screenings vital to protecting the health of the skin. Early detection is best for successful intervention of skin cancer.

Learn more about freckles and other pigmentation concerns that can develop on the skin

Dr. Clay Cockerell of the Dermatology Treatment and Research Center are committed to providing Dallas, TX area patients with a wide selection of services when it comes to both medical and cosmetic dermatology. Their office, located at 5310 Harvest Hill Road, Suite #160, is always accepting new patients in the community. Call (972) 661-2729 to request a consultation visit with one of our providers and get started finding beautiful, healthy, and youthful looking skin!