How to remove freckles depends on each and every individual. That’s because there is no method that will work 100% in all cases. Freckles are small, dark spots on the skin that can have tints of yellow, red, tan, brown, or black. They usually get darker during summertime and lighter in the winter months. They are most common on the face, but may appear on arms, shoulders, and the rest of the body. People with a lighter complexion are more prone to having or developing freckles. This can happen at any age, starting with 1 or 2 years old.

Freckles are not a sign of disease or an unhealthy lifestyle, nor a danger to one’s life and health. While some people love their freckles and others don’t mind them, there are certain cases in which freckles are a huge drawback to someone’s appearance. Here’s everything you need to know about how to remove freckles and how to keep them away.

how to get rid of freckles child

Common Questions About Freckles

What are freckles?

Freckles are small clusters of cells that fabricate excessive melanin, the substance that gives our complexion its color. Contrary to popular belief, they are not a skin disorder and common ones do not develop into skin cancer. However, freckles of unusual shape or size could become malignant. Freckled people have a higher sensitivity to UV light. Because of this, they must use a strong SPF cream when tanning or going out in the summer sun.

Why do people have freckles?

Freckles have been related to a certain gene also associated with red hair, although having it does not mean developing freckles. Having no copies of the gene does not guarantee freckles will not appear. Just like what happens in Japan or China where people still have freckles while not having red hair.

It is thought variants of the gene responsible for freckles developed about the time humans left the African continent. This was about 250 thousand years ago. Originally, this gene handled the much needed dark skin in the African Environment, thanks to its high melanin content that protected the skin from UV exposure. As humans moved on to less sunny areas, skin got lighter to still absorb enough UV to produce the much-needed vitamin D.

Is freckle removal dangerous?

No, dermatologists now have modern equipment which allows them to precisely treat small areas like freckles. Freckle removal implies no risks for the patient if the procedure is done in a clean, sterile environment.

Is freckle removal permanent?

Unfortunately, no, since treatment only means removing the extra pigments, not the cause of its production too. However, you can extend the time between treatments. You can also slow down the return of freckles by keeping out of the sun and eating lots of Vitamin C.

Causes of Freckles

Caused by genetics, freckles are highlighted by sunlight, which causes melanocytes (cells that create melanin) to overproduce melanosomes. This will make the keratinocytes (the cells on the last layer of your skin) change color and appear darker than the rest of the skin. They usually appear in the first years of age. There have been cases, however, where adults claimed freckles appeared on their skin during the summer months, without having them before.

How to Remove Freckles

Since freckles are spots on the skin that tan much faster than the rest of your skin, the best way to treat freckles is to avoid sunlight. A wide range of creams, serums, and other kinds of treatment are available; some work better, while others barely make a difference. If you want to get rid of freckles, the best way to do so is using a combination of treatments.

However, remember that these are only temporary, depending on how long you stay away from sunlight. In addition, be extra careful to protect yourself from UV rays while undergoing treatment. This is because exposing freckles to the sun will only decrease your success rate.

how to remove freckles from face

Most Effective Way to Treat Freckles

There’s no straight-forward answer to the question “How to remove freckles?”. Some ways can work for certain people and fail for others. There also are treatments that can be used from home, and others that are only available from a clinic. Each and every one of them has advantages and disadvantages, but if you truly want to get rid of your freckles, try a combination of some of these treatments:

  1. Fading creams

Although we don’t recommend buying one without prescription, you can do so if they contain less than 2% hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a phenol that safely bleaches skin. We recommend using a cream with a lower concentration of hydroquinone because, although effective, it can have negative effects on the skin. Always seek a dermatologist’s advice regarding which one to use. Another ingredient you should look for in fading creams is kojic acid. It is famous for its many uses in traditional medicine and cosmetics. A lot of varieties tend to lighten the color of the skin surrounding the freckles, too. Therefore, seek medical advice when picking out a fading cream.

Prices: A good fading cream can cost from $30 to a few thousand dollars, depending on the brand, quantity, and ingredients.

  1. Retinoids

Tretinoin, tazarotene and adapalene are all related to Vitamin A. If applied generously and regularly, it can help lighten freckles over a few months. Combining it with other treatments is a great method to remove freckles.

Prices: A good retinoid selection starts at about $50 and could go as high as $600 or more.

  1. Laser treatment

Laser treatment for freckles has a very good success rate, especially when used with fading creams and other treatments. The laser removes melanin in the freckle, adjusting the quantity of pigment in that area to the rest of the skin.

Prices: They vary, but one laser treatment session for freckles is somewhere between $150 and $300. Usually, freckles go away after 2 to 5 sessions.

  1. IPL or Photofacials

Similar to Laser treatment, IPL registered great success rates with removing and lightening freckles. Unlike laser treatment, however, IPL works with an intense and pulsating beam of light.

Prices: Freckles usually go away after 5 or 6 sessions and each session costs about $150.

While some of these are more expensive, like Laser treatment or IPL, others, like creams and retinoids are very affordable and easy to use. Success rates are almost impossible to analyze since they vary immensely from one individual to another. However, if you are tired of asking dermatologists how to remove freckles year after year and want this treatment to work, avoid sun exposure as much as possible during and after treatment.

How to Remove Freckles Naturally

how to remove freckles with fruit mask

There are many natural substances and treatments for freckles with more or less impressive success rates. However, for the best results we recommend using at least 2 or 3 of these suggestions:

  1. Lemon

Lemon juice is a very effective natural bleach thanks to Vitamin C and is used both for skin and for hair. You must apply the fresh juice on your freckled skin, massage, and rinse with warm water after about 15 minutes. A sugar and lemon juice scrub would work great too. However,  be careful to only use it twice a week at most.

  1. Dairy mask

Dairy masks work against freckles and make the skin look smooth, supple and, moisturized, thanks to the lactic acid and other active ingredients.

  1. Fruit peels

The secular question “How to remove Freckles the natural way?” just got a definitive answer. Creating a peeling mask out of blended fruit is one of the most common skin health tips from dermatologists. The benefits of a fruit peel go even further. Strawberries, kiwi, and papaya are known for their skin lightening abilities. If you want the best results, you can throw in a lemon, some yogurt and a spoonful of honey.

  1. Honey

Mixing honey with warm water will give results over time. However, the best way of using honey to your advantage is mixing it with lemon juice or into a fruit mask. This will greatly accelerate visible results and will also rejuvenate the skin.

Do’s & Don’ts When Having Freckles

A quick Google search for “how to remove freckles” will lead you to some great answers and to some straight-up crazy suggestions you should never try. Here are a few ground rules in dealing with freckles:

DO use sun protection. People with freckles usually are more vulnerable to effects of UV radiation, so avoid sunlight without strong protection (SPF 50 should be enough), especially during the peak hours.

DO apply and eat Vitamin C. It works against freckles from the outside and the inside, so eating fruits is another way to diminish the dark color of freckles.

DO wear hats, especially those with a wide brim. This will protect freckled skin from sunlight and will keep them light.

DON’T expose freckles to the sun. Although many people believe that tanning will darken the skin around the freckles so they won’t be as visible anymore, this will never happen. Freckles will always be darker than skin with a normal concentration of pigment.

DON’T use fading creams without doctor’s prescription. Some fading creams work great, but others also bleach the skin surrounding the freckles which will lead to an excessively light complexion.

Freckles can be a cool natural enhancement to one’s looks, but they can also be a huge drawback for one’s self-esteem. Although the freckles themselves are not dangerous in any way health wise, some people remove them for a clean and even complexion.

So what’s your favorite method on how to remove freckles?

Image sources: 1, 2, 3.