Friday, October 24, 2008

Freckles: Causes, Prevention, Treatment of Freckles

Freckles are flat, irregular spots that develop randomly on the skin, particularly on the cheeks. They vary in color but are always darker than the normal skin around them. They are more prominent in persons of fair complexion.

Causes of development
There are many different causes of freckles but one main cause is repeated and prolonged exposure to sunlight. The exposure increases the production of pigment melanin that gets deposited in certain areas of the skin making them look darker but this does not happen to everyone because every person is not equally sensitive to sunlight. Generally, persons with fair complexion are more sensitive to sunlight than dark-skinned persons but this does not mean that all fair-skinned persons are very sensitive or all dark-skinned persons are completely immune to the effects of sunlight. Anyone can develop freckles depending on personal sensitivity whatever be the complexion. Nutritional imbalance and genetic factors may also cause uneven distribution of pigment melanin resulting in freckles.

Liver spots
Some elderly persons may develop darker spots, which are different to freckles but at times may be mistaken for freckles. They are called liver spots but have nothing to do with the liver. It is just a wrong name given to them. While liver spots are generally a function of old age, freckles are not.

Risk factors
Freckles have a great cosmetic value particularly when they are on the cheeks otherwise they are harmless and pose no danger to general health. At times, however, they might be mistaken for another skin disease. Therefore, one should have them checked and evaluated by the dermatologist to be sure of what the spots are.

Freckles are a fair indication of sensitivity of skin to sunburn and other skin diseases of more serious nature. Those with hereditary tendency should avoid prolonged and/or repeated exposure to direct sunrays. For those whose nature of job does not permit this precaution should use protective sunscreens to reduce the risk.

There are plenty of products available in the market for external use, which can reduce the pigmentation and lighten or even eliminate the freckles. There are products that can hide them temporarily but hiding the freckles is not the answer. They must be treated properly. It is always better to consult the dermatologist or skin-care expert before selecting or using a product to treat the skin.

Freckles can also be effectively and conveniently treated by internal use of homeopathic medicines. This is one of those conditions that can be easily treated in a few weeks. Some of the commonly used homeopathic medicines to treat freckles are graphite, kali-carb, lycopodium, muric-acid, natrum-carb, phosphorus, sepia, sulphur etc. but you must consult your homeopath to choose correct medicine, its dose and potency for you.

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