How can I improve my freckles

Harmless spots on sensitive skin


06/25/19 (ams). They are hated and loved - whoever has them often finds them ugly, whoever doesn't have them, finds them cute. Especially in light-haired or red-haired people (skin types I and II), a lot of the small brown-yellow pigments sprout after prolonged exposure to the sun, but in the months with little sun they are usually hardly visible. The good news: freckles in and of themselves are completely harmless. But they are also a sign of sun-sensitive skin. Freckles should therefore protect themselves particularly from the sun or UV radiation. Freckles are located in the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. The cause of their development is a harmless genetic defect, which means that the pigments are not evenly distributed in the skin cells. "Normally, certain skin cells, the so-called melanocytes, form the pigment melanin as protection against solar or UV radiation. The stronger the solar radiation, the more melanin is produced and the stronger the skin pigmentation. The skin turns brown and is due to the pigment briefly protected from harmful UV rays, "explains Anja Debrodt, a doctor in the AOK Federal Association.

Ready-to-broadcast radio o-tones with Anja Debrodt, doctor in the AOK Federal Association

At least a sun protection factor of 30

Freckles are a sign that the melanin is not evenly distributed - more is formed in some cells and the characteristic brown spots appear. They are particularly evident on parts of the body that are heavily exposed to the sun, such as the nose, forehead, cheeks, cleavage or on the arms. "In contrast to moles, for example, no new cells are formed in freckles, only new dye is produced. They can therefore not degenerate," says doctor Debrodt. How many freckles sprout also depends on the pigment stores in the skin cells: the fewer there are, the more freckles a person can get. Light-skinned people have an average of 50 pigment stores per cell, dark-skinned people more than 500. The fact is: freckles are a sign of sun-sensitive skin. "Freckled people must therefore always ensure they have adequate sun and UV protection. For example, it is best to avoid the sun completely between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., as this is when the radiation is most intense," says Debrodt. As a rule of thumb, if you have skin type I, you should not spend more than ten minutes in the sun without protection, with skin type II it is a maximum of 20 minutes. Sun cream should have a sun protection factor of at least 30, or even better 50. You should be vigilant if pigment spots change significantly, continues Debrodt: "For example, if the size, shape or color changes. An alarm signal is when they bleed. Such spots should always be checked by a doctor."

If you don't like your freckles at all, you can use make-up that covers them well to cover them up. Experts are rather critical of bleaching creams. You may be able to lighten the skin a little, but make it even more sensitive to light. Some people have their freckles removed with a laser, but this does not prevent new stains: "When exposed to sunlight, the responsible melanocytes produce new pigments and the stains return," explains Debrodt. There are also people who are crazy about freckles but don't have any of their own. Here, too, there is a remedy: Everyone can paint their own brown dots with freckle pencils.

Statutory health insurance takes over skin cancer screening every two years for insured persons aged 35 and over. The doctor examines the patient for changes in the skin and examines the skin all over the body - including the hairy head and folds of the skin.

© 2016 AOK Federal Association