What are The Real Causes of Freckles?

What are The Real Causes of Freckles?

Have You Ever Wondered... why some girls have these spots that make them look so cute.

Do you have freckles? If you don't, chances are you probably know someone who does. But what are they exactly?

Freckles appear on the skin as small tan or light brown spots. While they usually appear on the face, they can also be found on any skin exposed to the Sun, such as the neck and shoulders.

Freckles are natural and not harmful. Even though some people with freckles don't like them and want to get rid of them, they're certainly not a sign of any health problems.

Freckles are just skin cells that contain a pigment (color) called "melanin." Melanin is a chemical made by skin cells called "melanocytes." Melanin helps to protect the skin from the Sun's harmful ultraviolet rays by reflecting or absorbing them.

Freckles are triggered by exposure to sunlight. The Sun's ultraviolet radiation causes melanocytes to make more melanin, which can cause freckles to appear or become darker.

While anyone can have freckles, they are genetic. So if your parents have freckles, there's a good chance you will, too. People with fair complexions (skin and eyes that are light in color) tend to have more freckles than people with darker complexions.

The melanin in your skin is what makes you look tan. The more melanin you have in your skin, the easier it is to get a tan.

People with fair complexions have less melanin in their skin to start with. When sunlight causes their melanocytes to make more melanin, they often develop freckles instead of getting an even suntan like people with darker complexions.

Some people have freckles that fade away in the winter and return every summer. Other people have freckles year-round. Freckles often tend to fade when people get older.

Try It Out

Try It Out

Ready for some fun in the Sun? Be sure to explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

In the classic book Freckle Juice by Judy Blume, Andrew wishes he had freckles. He thinks that, if he had freckles, his mom wouldn't know if his neck was dirty and he wouldn't have to wash it! What do you think? Would your mom be fooled by freckles? Do you have freckles? If so, do you like them? Why or why not?
Each person has certain features that make him or her unique. Some people are tall, while others are shorter. Some people have straight hair, while others have curly hair. People can have black, blond, brown, or red hair. They can also have blue, brown, or green eyes. What makes you unique? Ask your friends and family what features of yours they like best. You might be surprised to learn what others like about you. Those freckles you might not like all that much might be the feature that a close friend loves the most about you! When you've taken some time to think about what makes you unique, grab a few art supplies and draw or paint a self-portrait. Be sure to include those features that make you…well…YOU!
Want to make a sweet treat to enjoy when the hot summer Sun is out? Try Frosted Freckled Lemonade! Make sure you get help from an adult friend or family member. Enjoy your cool drink while soaking up the hot rays of the Sun!