If you’ve come here to know how to remove freckles, you should know that it’s not an easy task. They appear on the skin naturally or as a result of sun exposure. They are more common in people with light skin. But did you know that there are some methods that can help lighten their appearance? Yes, you can fade those freckles!
HealthShots spoke to Dr Sejal Saheta, Dermatologist, InUrSkn, about this condition and the treatment options that are available.
What are freckles?
Freckles are a genetic condition that is common in people with fair skin. These are brownish flat spots that are most commonly seen on the face and other sun-exposed areas such as the neck, arms, and shoulders.
What causes freckles?
Dr Saheta says, “Children as young as three years old begin to develop freckles, which last until they are about 20 years old. Sun exposure is the primary cause or aggravator of freckles.” It is also worth noting that freckles are frequently confused with another skin condition known as solar lentigines, or age spots, which, unlike freckles, are not genetic and quite common. These manifest with age and are more common in patients over the age of 50.
Both freckles and age spots are pigmentation issues and can be treated with similar lines of treatment.
Here are 6 ways to reduce freckles:
1. Protection from the sun
Freckles often fade with age. However, you can reduce their appearance by limiting your exposure to the sun, as sun exposure can cause them to develop over time. Dr Saheta says, “The first step for both conditions, freckle, and pigmentation, is to ensure adequate protection in the form of reducing sun exposure with hats, full-length clothes, and also with the help of sunscreen.” Please keep in mind that sunscreen will not remove existing freckles but will help to prevent new ones from developing.
2. Chemical peel
Chemical peels exfoliate the skin by using chemicals such as glycemic and lactic acid. These peels aid in the removal of the top layers of skin and the reduction of freckles. After a chemical peel, it will take 2-3 days for your skin to heal and regenerate a new skin layer. It helps to reduce the appearance of freckles over time.
3. Laser skin toning
There are numerous laser treatments available for freckle removal. According to Dr Saheta, “The affected area is treated with a concentrated laser beam which affects only the pigmented area while leaving the rest of the skin unaffected” in laser skin toning. This treatment causes no long-term harm to your skin. However, you may experience bruising, redness, and swelling in the short term.
4. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and Mesotherapy
“PRP and mesotherapy are combined with procedures like microneedling or laser skin resurfacing to treat freckles,” says Dr Saheta. Acne, blemishes, freckles, melasma, and other skin imperfections can be addressed with these treatments. They are used to deliver lightening agents to your skin in order to improve your complexion and restore lost facial volume.
5. Skin lightening creams
The best freckle removal creams contain ingredients like vitamin C, retinoid, hydrochloride, and glycolic acid. These creams are widely available and extremely effective in treating both natural and sun-induced freckles. And have no long term negative consequences!
6. Home remedies
According to Dr Saheta, “In terms of at-home skin care that can help reduce these spots, it is advisable to establish a routine with skin care products that are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C derivatives or glutathione, and also retinoids (vitamin A derivatives).” They help not just with pigmentation-related issues but also protect against other effects of sun exposure, like premature ageing.
You can also try certain home remedies such as lemon juice, honey, buttermilk, sour cream, yoghurt, aloe vera, turmeric, and onion. However, if you experience any irritation, stop using these remedies.