What are freckles?

Freckles, also called Plural Ephilides are caused due to localized accumulation of melanin in the keratinocytes.

They appear as small, flat, brown circular spots typically on the sun exposed areas like the face, shoulders and arms. Most freckles are uniform in color and become darker and more apparent after sun exposure.

What causes freckles?

Sun exposure

Freckles are triggered by repeated sun exposure. The UV radiation causes the melanocytes to secrete more melanin which can cause freckles to appear or become darker. The freckles usually darken in summer and appear lighter in winter.


While any one can have freckles, they are genetic. So if your parents have freckles, there is a good chance you may have them too.

Fair Skin

Freckles are more common in fair skinned people. People with fair complexion have less melanin in their skin. When sunlight causes their melanocytes to make more melanin, they develop freckles instead of a uniform tan seen in dark skinned people.

How are freckles treated?

Freckles are treated using skin lightening agents, antoxidants, and sun protection. In moderate to severe cases oral medication may be required to reduce the activity of the melanocytes.