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What are freckles?

Dr. Loretta Standley

Health questions are now only answered over the phone. 314.420.5099

[Read more e-mails here!]

qDear Dr. Standley: (What are freckles?)

Hello, I was just wondering if you knew why your freckles stay when you get new skin every month?


a Dear Brittany:

The brownish spots on your skin (freckles) are actually areas of melanin (color pigment) on your skin. Your pigment stays with you, including the freckles. Freckles are more pronounced in those who of fair complexion, but this does not mean that those with a darker complexion cannot get freckles. Even I have freckles being Cherokee Indian.

They are most often found on the face, then the chest and arms.

Your predisposition to freckles is through your genetics. Coupled with sun exposure, your freckles will darken. Also, the more red you have in your hair, the more predisposed you are to freckles.

Some people will attempt to bleach their freckles in order to make them lighten or use fade creams that you may find at the local drugstore. Laser surgery has also been known to be an option, although it can cost you dearly ($$) and (not to scare you but) who know's if you may the patient where it backfires.

Freckles are also a risk factor for skin cancer (melanoma) so your best bet is to avoid sun exposure. Sun exposure will also darken freckles.

Embrace your freckles and look at them as beauty marks. I do!

A bazillion blessings -- Dr. Standley

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.