Monday, October 6, 2008

What causes the skin to freckle instead of mole?

What causes the skin to freckle instead of mole? Apart from the fact that freckles and moles are the reaction of our skin's pigmentation to the sun, why does our skin produce freckles instead of moles and vice versa?

Is it anything to do with the strength of the sun or duration of exposure?
Best Answer
Freckles and moles are two different skin conditions. Moles can be inherited, but they can also simply be due to your own unique genetics. Moles may darken in the sun, as your skin tans, but they are not at all related to exposure to sunlight. Moles are actual areas of darker or modified skin.

Freckles, which I find to be extremely attractive on a girl's face, body and all over, are basically a skin tone. The tendency to get them is inherited, and even where you will get freckles can be inherited. Freckles are your skin trying to tan, but it happens unevenly and in clumps instead of whole areas when exposed to the sun. Since I love freckles on girls so much, I've done a lot of research into them. Here is a little Q & A that should answer all your questions about freckles:

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About FRECKLES!

Q. What are freckles?

The simple answer is they are an uneven tan. Your skin color depends on the amount of a pigment called Melanin it contains. The more Melanin you have the darker your skin color. Albinos have no Melanin at all in their skin!

Melanin helps to protect you from the harmful ultraviolet rays in sunlight. When these rays hit your skin, the Melanin cells in your skin respond by releasing their chemicals which darken your skin and protect you better from the sun.

In some people, the Melanin tends to "clump" in areas which appear darker than the skin surrounding them. This is how freckles come about. Melanin is regulated by the MC1R gene, and a variant of that gene is believed to determine how freckly you are. When you spend lots of time in the sun, these clumps of melanin are stimulated to produce more pigment thus you get darker, or even more freckles! The tendency to have freckles seems to be inherited.

Q. Why do females and children seem to have more freckles than men?

My best guess about this is because women and children have thinner skin than men generally do. Thinner skin would not only allow your freckles to be seen easier, but also make it easier for sunlight to stimulate the Melanin Clumps into action.

Hormones may also play a role, as when pregnant women are said to get the "Mask of Pregnancy" which often is associated with more freckles.

Q. Do all skin types get freckles?

Every Race from Blacks to Asians, to East Indians can get freckles; but they are most common on White people. Freckles usually start to appear around the age of 5 years old, and generally peak during the Teenage years. They seem to fade during adulthood, which is probably due to hormonal changes and the fact that adults working jobs aren't outside exposed to the sun as much either.

Freckles ROCK!

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