What are freckles?

They’re just pigment cells (cells that contain color) that are contained within the skin in small batches. Freckles are usually tan or light brown, flat, and very small. Sometimes they overlap and run together so they may look larger.

Some people have freckles that fade away almost completely in the winter and return in the summer. Other people’s freckles don’t change much with or without the sun and can be seen year-round. Freckles also tend to fade as people get older. Whether you’re freckled or not, be sure to wear sunscreen and follow other sun-safety rules. 1

Freckles vs. solar lentigines

While the freckles that develop in adulthood are likely to be solar lentignes, not all solar lentignes are freckles. Solar lentigines are 2 millimeters or larger ins size and ranging from yellow to dark brown in color. They can be found on the back and the shins as well as on the face, chest, and arms, and unlike ephelides, they don’t tend to fade much with the seasons or the years. We typically start to develop solar lentignes around the age of 40, but it is not unknown for them to occur in younger people, as well. 2  

Freckles vs. moles

The fastest way to tell the difference between moles and freckles is to feel the area. Moles are often raised from the skin’s surface while freckles tend to be flat. Moles are also generally darker in color than freckles. Freckles are simply skin cells that form melanin, or melanocytes, that have either appeared, or darkened, due to sun exposure.

Moles usually look like a type of growth on the skin, and are just as common as freckles. Often, moles appear as small, dark brown spots. They are caused when melanocytes grow in clusters or clumps. Moles are usually a bit darker than freckles, and deeper in the dermis, or deeper in the skin. 3

Celebs with freckles