Freckles can occur naturally or develop as a result of sun exposure. They aren’t harmful to the skin, but some people prefer to lighten or remove them for a more even complexion.
Some common causes of freckles are too much exposure to sunlight, genetics and hormonal imbalance.
Though freckles could be present anywhere on the body, they appear mostly on areas that are often exposed to the sun’s rays.
Types of freckles
Yes,freckles have different types to them too! Like any other skin trouble, they tend to vary in types depending on the cause. As a freckle is mostly caused due to sun exposure, it can be classified into simple freckles and sunburn freckles.
A simple freckle or epehlidesis a flat tan spot that tends to appear in the summer months when the sun is out.They tend to fade in the winters again. These is a type that is generally found in people with far skin but it is also hereditary in some families. Redheads and people with green eye colour are more prone to this type of a freckle than the others with fair skin.
These are a darker form of freckles that are scientifically called lentigenes. This term includes certain types of dark freckles and the sunburn freckles. Sunburn freckles occur mostly on the shoulder and back where sunburns are most common. These are very rarely genetic.
Freckle treatment is invariably what you should keep as a last resort if you somehow manage to end up freckling despite the preventive measure. When we talk of treating freckles, it can be explained under the following heads. Read on.
- Sun Safe: This not only helps in reducing them, but also helps avoid the formation of freckles and fades them. Always use a good sunscreen and shield your skin against the harmful sun rays. Wear a hat for some added protection and extra oomph!
- Bleaching: Bleaching the skin is a sure shot of reducing pigmentation. This must be done with care though, improper bleaching might lead to worsening the freckles by darkening the area around them.
- Retinoids: These are supposed to be prescribed by a derma as they involve a high concentration of chemicals and shouldn’t be used without proper guidance. Retinoids are known to peel the damaged skin and quicken the process of new skin generation.
- Chemical Peels: These are another medical procedure with sure shot results. Chemical peels are known to give the best results.
- Laser removal: Though expensive, this is a permanent way to get rid of the freckles. Make sure you got to a certified dermatologist and get your skin checked before you opt for laser treatment. The laser will direct an intense light to the affected spots, which is then absorbed by the skin and melanin. This will destroy the dark cells, and leave the healthy cells intact.
- Cryosurgery: This is a procedure where extreme cold is applied to the damaged tissues. Liquid nitrogen is mainly used in this treatment. Again, please go to a certified doctor.
There are cosmetic treatments to remove freckles, but they can be very expensive. You can easily get rid of them by trying several natural treatments at home.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to get rid of freckles:
1. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a highly effective ingredient for treating freckles as well as brown spots. Lemon juice has skin lightening properties that will nicely bleach the dark spots on your skin.
- Apply fresh lemon juice on the affected skin and gently massage the area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Do this twice a day.
- Another option is to use a lemon scrub. Cut a lemon in half and sprinkle one-half teaspoon of sugar on it. Gently scrub your skin with it for a few minutes and then wash your skin with water. Do this once or twice a week on a regular basis.
2. Sour Cream
The lactic acid present in sour milk can help a lot to get rid of freckles. It is particularly useful for those with sensitive skin.
- Apply some sour cream on the affected skin and allow it to dry for a few minutes. Instead of rinsing it off with water, you must gently wipe it off with a soft tissue or a towel. Then apply some moisturizer. This remedy will not cause skin irritation or dryness. Do this at least once daily until the freckles go away.
- Alternatively, you can rinse the affected skin with sour milk daily. If you do not have sour milk, use yogurt.
Honey is excellent for fading freckles because it contains enzymes that help lighten skin pigmentation. Plus, being a natural humectant, it is great for moisurizing your skin.
- Mix honey and water and heat it slightly in a microwave. Apply it on the affected area and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Finally rinse the area thoroughly with warm water. Do this daily for a several weeks.
- You can also make an herbal mask by mixing a little wheat germ with warm honey. Apply this mask and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. Rinse the area with warm water and then wash it again with cold water. Repeat two to three times a week for a couple of months. This is one of the most effective home remedies for freckles.
- Another option is to make a mixture of honey and yogurt, and apply it on the freckles for 30 minutes daily until you get the desired results.
Papaya juice is another effective remedy to get rid of freckles. Papaya contain papain, a kind of enzyme that can help lighten freckles.
- Apply fresh papaya juice directly on the freckles using a cotton ball and gently massage the area.
- After 10 minutes, rinse the skin with cold water.
- Do this once daily for at least for a few weeks or until you are satisfied with the results.
Onions also can be used to remove freckles and brown spots due to their sulfur content which has exfoliative property. For best results, use red onions.
- Cut one red onion into thick slices and rub the slices gently on the freckles twice daily. Continue this remedy until the freckles fade away.
- Another option is to grate one red onion, extract its juice and apply the juice on the affected skin twice a day. For best results, add one teaspoon of vinegar to the onion juice. Repeat this remedy daily for one or two weeks.
The bleaching property of buttermilk can also help lighten and fade freckles. In addition, it will make your skin smooth and supple.
- Simply apply buttermilk over the freckles, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse it off with lukewarm water. Repeat twice daily for several weeks.
- Another option is to make a thick paste of powdered oatmeal and buttermilk. Apply this paste on the affected area, leave it on for about 30 minutes, and then wash it off with cold water. Do this once daily until you get positive results.
- Alternatively, mix one tablespoon of buttermilk with one teaspoon of lemon juice. Apply it on your skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off.
7. Castor Oil
Castor oil is another natural remedy to treat freckles at home. It will give you an even skin tone and help freckles fade away.
- Before going to bed, apply castor oil on the affected skin. The next morning, wipe it off with a soft tissue and then rinse the skin with lukewarm water. Continue this remedy daily until you get rid of the freckles. For best results, opt for pure, cold-pressed castor oil which is tasteless and odorless.
- Alternatively, you can use vitamin E oil or olive oil to reduce blemishes and freckles.
Being high in vitamin C, horseradish is good for fading freckles and blemishes naturally. It also works an antioxidant to maintain healthy, younger-looking skin.
- Dab horseradish juice on the affected skin and let it sit for 10 minutes. Do this once daily to lighten your freckles.
- Alternatively, add one tablespoon of powdered horseradish root to a cup of milk and boil it. Cool and strain it. Apply this solution on your skin and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off. Do this four to five times a week until you get encouraging results.
- Another option is to mix one grated horseradish with the juice of one lemon to make a paste. Apply this paste on the affected skin area and allow it to dry. Then wash it off with cold water. Follow this remedy every other day until you see improvement.
Eggplant, being rich in antioxidants, can also be used to remove freckles and make them less noticeable.
- Slice one fresh eggplant into thick pieces.
- Place the slices over the affected skin.
- Gently rub the eggplant slices in a circular motion and leave them on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes.
Follow this remedy once daily for about a week to notice improvement in the appearance of your skin. The freckles will be lightened considerably after a few weeks.
10. Sesame Seeds
A combination of sesame seeds and turmeric will also help fade your freckles and promote skin lightening.
- Grind one tablespoon of sesame seeds and one teaspoon of turmeric powder thoroughly along with a little water to make a smooth paste.
- Apply this paste on your skin.
- Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it off with cold water.
- Do this once daily and soon your freckles will fade away.