Freckles are trending with social media filters adding that sun kissed effect and many makeup artists recreating that sought after look with eyeliner. I'm here for it given there's barely a spot on my body that doesn't have freckles. With summer just around the corner, no doubt my natural freckles will be popping again soon!
A common concern is whether freckles and sun damage are related.
Firstly, there's no doubt any pigmentation associated with the sun can be damaging. In fact 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer before they are 70 years old. Living in the sunshine state, we all know we should be getting our skin cancer checks regularly and keeping an eye on our moles. But what is the rule when it comes to freckles?!
If your freckles aren't present year round, making a yearly appearance during summer then it's important to think of freckles like a suntan. Any change in skin color or appearance due to the sun, is a sign of too much sun exposure. Ephelides, what we know as 'freckles', are a clear sign that you've had too much sun exposure and likely on unprotected skin. Similar to a suntan, freckles are our bodies defence mechanism to sun damage, producing melanin to protect the deeper layers of the skin and DNA from being damaged by the UV rays.
Freckles do however need to be distinguished from moles and sun spots. They don't always mean your skin is in trouble. If you are naturally predisposed to freckles, you may not need to be overly worried provided your freckles don't appear to be changing, or transitioning into moles or sunspots. Simply monitor them, pay attention to any changes over time. The more freckles you have, the higher risk you are of developing melanoma, so regular dermatology checks are important.