Red freckles can be quite embarrassing as they cast a contrast on one’s beauty, making one to begin to doubt one’s attractiveness. It takes only a person whose heart is made of iron and steel not to bother about the appearance of clusters of red spots on his/her face. Red freckles can deal a deadly punch on your self esteem.
But what should you do, really? Have you ever had those abnormal appearances of concentrated spots on your skin that make you look like more like an art work? I am not trying to mock you, but that is how a lot of people with this challenge have seen and described themselves. It is embarrassing, but it’s not your fault that you have them.
If you have been diagnosed with red freckles, you don’t have to kill yourself because you are not the only person having this challenge. We are here to help you proffer solution to the problem. This write-up provides you real insight into what this red freckles are, the various types, the causes, and how to prevent them. At the end of reading this piece, you would have fully armed yourself with the right information that would help you out.
What are Red Freckles?
Freckles, otherwise known as ephelides, are clusters of concentrated cells with a high level of melanin which are fairly noticeable on fair-complexioned people. They do not have a higher number of melanocytes (cells that produce melanin), rather, they have melanocytes that are over producing melanin granules, thereby altering the coloration of the keratinocytes (the outer skin).
Freckles are not a disorder of the skin. However, people who suffer from freckles have a lower concentration of melanin that protects them from the harmful effects of the sun rays. Therefore, they are more prone to the harmful effects of the ultraviolet radiation. It is, therefore, advisable for people with high tendency of developing freckles to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. They should use sun sunscreen as much as possible.
Freckles formation is usually triggered by undue exposure to sunlight. The exposure to UV-B radiation stimulates the melanocytes to produce melanin in excess, thereby making freckles to become more noticeable.
Freckles are mostly found on the face, especially on the cheeks. They are also found on the skin of any part of the body that has been unduly exposed to the sun, like the shoulders or arms. Where there is an intense distribution of high concentrations of melanin, it can lead to multiplication of freckles, thereby making them to cover an entire skin area.
Red freckles are commoner in children before the onset of puberty, but quite rare on infants and toddlers. They usually fade with age in a number of cases. However, red freckles in children tend to reappear when the individual is exposed to the sun, even though the freckles had been managed with lasers or creams.
Causes of Red Freckles
There are several reasons why you could develop red freckles. We are going to talk about them below so that you can get the right information that would help you. So, here are the possible causes.
The main cause of freckles is a genetic disorder, which is due to the presence of rare alleles of the MC1R gene. It is not clear if an individual will develop freckles just by having one or two copies of this gene. It is also known that individuals who do not even possess any copies of the MC1R occasionally develop freckles. However, people who have a high number of freckling sites do possess one or more variants of the MC1R gene. The most common variants of the MC1R gene in individuals with freckles include Arg151Cys, Arg160Trp, and Asp294His.
Individuals with red hairs have the MC1R gene in common. A high number of red haired people have two variants of the MC1R gene and nearly all of them have one. The gene is, therefore, more closely associated with red hair than it is with freckles. The variants that cause red hair are one and the same as the ones that cause freckling.
Exposure to sun
The primary reason that has been implicated in the triggering of the development of red freckles is exposure to sunlight. The more a predisposed individual is exposed to sunlight the more the chances of developing freckles. Therefore, it would be better to minimize your exposure to the sun to reduce the possibility.
Fair-skinned people have less production of melanin, making it relatively hard to absorb the ultraviolet light. The pigment-producing cells therefore, work harder to produce more melanin at a faster rate, leading to an abnormal melanin production. It is this excessive proliferation of abnormal melanin that becomes noticeable on the skin as red freckles.
The abnormal stimulation of the hormone estrogen prompts the melanocytes into producing extra melanin. This chain reaction makes the melanocytes to secrete excess skin color when exposed to the sun thereby leading to red freckles.
How to Remove Red Freckles
Red freckles can be removed in different ways. So, if you are really keen on fighting those nasty spots, the following information would be of great value to you.
Use Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is quite useful in the removal of red freckles. Some of the body creams have a percentage of Aloe Vera in them. Some people have testified that the wonder plant truly works on red freckles. Rub fresh Aloe Vera juice on the freckled spots twice daily and the spots would slowly fade away in about a month or two.
Red freckles can be treated with lasers. Light energy from the laser vibrates and breaks the pigment into micro-particles. The body’s own natural mechanism then engulfs and removes the micro-particles. The procedure produces a feeling that is likened to snaps of rubber, accompanied by a sensation of warmth. To reduce or eliminate any discomfort, apply a topical anesthetic cream to the spot 30 minutes before the treatment.
Usually, there is a temporary graying or whitening of the lesion immediately after the laser treatment. This is then followed by redness that looks like sunburn. The redness may last for 2 – 7 days depending on the severity of the pigment lesions. The pigmented lesions get darker over 7 – 10 days after the procedure, and then flake off or fade away. Fresh, normal-looking skin then grows to take the place of the removed red freckles.
Intense Pulsated Light Therapy (IPL)
This works on the same principle as lasers. Light is absorbed into the specific target cells with color (chromophores) in the skin. Then there is conversion of light energy into heat energy in order for it to be able to cause damage to the particular target area. IPL are not exactly the same as laser, because, they deliver many wavelengths of colors in each pulse whereas lasers deliver a wavelength. A higher number of IPL are able to penetrate without employing excessive energy because they use filters to refine the energy output to use in treating specific areas. They are able to target specific chromophores (components of the skin that absorb light).
IPL therapy targets the dermis (lower layers of skin) without destroying the epidermis (top layers of the skin). This is why they are regarded as non-ablative resurfacing technique. The advantage of the IPL over the ablative resurfacing (where both the epidermis and dermis are injured in order to produce an outcome that is more visible), is that the IPL has minimal downtime. Once the procedure is carried out, you can return to work immediately afterward.
The use of light chemical peels also works on freckles. They work by making those red freckles fade away. To effectively remove the freckles, the chemical peels have to be repeated. Glycolic acid is one chemical you could start with and then gradually move up depending on how well your skin can tolerate it.
Tretinoin is known to help clear the dark spots that come with aging, acne vulgaris, red freckles, etc. Apply it to the skin at bedtime (it should not be used during the day). Don’t use it on the skin at the same time with other products that contain benzoyl peroxide or glycolic acid. You need to wait for at least 30 minutes after washing your skin.
There are good numbers of bleaching creams with skin-friendly ingredients to help clear away your red freckles. When choosing bleaching cream, you need to go for one that has chemicals that are not harsh to the skin and would not destroy your skin further.
Natural ingredients that work fine on red freckles and help to brighten the skin are Vitamin E, Licorice, mulberry, lemon, and other fruits of herbal extract. The chances of removing freckles without causing damage to the surrounding skin depend on the number of natural ingredients that the brand has. Those brands with more natural ingredients tend to do better.
When shopping for your natural remedy, it is better to go for those creams with an SPF 15 or more. They assist you in adding up to your daily sunscreen since you would need to make use of one with SPF 30 or higher. The brands you can easily get to buy include
- Nature’s Gate Organics Lemon Skin Brightening Cream: It comes with organic lemon, Japanese Mandarin, Mulberry, and Licorice).
- Xtend-Life Natural Whitening Day Cream: This cream contains Nutgrass and Natural vitamin E.
- Revitol Freckle Removal cream: It has the ability to brighten and rejuvenate skin, as well as moisturize the skin.
- Meladerm Skin Lightening Cream: Meladerm comes with Lactic acid, Kojic acid, and Licorice. It is quite good for the removal of red freckles and dark spots.
- Others: There are a lot more of the creams you can use on the freckles. They include Tri Luma Cream, Arche Pearl Whitening Face Cream, John Plunkett’s Superfade Original, Olay professional Pro-X Even Skin Tone Spot Fading Treatment, Aveeno Lightening Cream, Derma E Evenly radiant cream, Nadinola Skin Discoloration Fade Cream, Yes to Grapefruit Dark Spot Corrector, and a lot more.
Red freckles around Eyes
Sometimes red freckles appear under the skin of the eyes. They are referred to as petechiae, and they are usually caused by the bleeding of tiny blood vessels which might have ruptured as a result of strain. Conditions that bring about petechiae include crying, coughing, and straining after vomiting. Some of the causes should not really give us a concern. Nevertheless, petechiae can be a sign of a more dangerous health condition like strep throat, endocarditis, scarlet fever, parvovirus infection and mononucleosis. These conditions are either caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections.
Red freckles on Feet
Red freckles could sometimes be found on the feet. They are also referred to as petechiae. They are usually caused by a simple allergy to certain medications and jewelry, leukemia, etc. One thing that differentiates petechiae from other skin problems is that petechiae do not blanch when pressed with a thumb or finger, instead they become pale when pressed. They are usually small spots on the legs, but they can appear differently on different individuals.
Red freckles on Scalp
If you notice red freckles on your scalp, they may be moles. A mole or nevus is a growth occurring as a result of the color-producing cells of the skin growing in clusters. Most of the times, they are oval or round, flat or raised, and they can be red, brown pink or black. Moles are not skin cancer cells, but other forms of skin growths can sometimes be mistaken for red moles.
A higher number of moles vary from light tan to dark brown. Nevertheless, atypical moles otherwise known as dysplastic nevi consist of shadows of red along with brown. Most of the times, they come with a mixture of colors, they are usually slightly raised or flat or may look spotted.
Atypical moles are more often larger than the common moles and more extensive than the width of a pencil’s eraser. Atypical moles can be found on the scalp, back, and chest, even though they can occur in any other part of the body. They usually develop at any age but are commoner in people with a fair skin. If you notice them on your scalp or any other part, see the doctor for proper diagnosis.
Red freckles on Ankles
Red dots can be seen on the ankles and feet, though they can occur on any part of the body. They are usually caused by platelet deficiency otherwise known as thrombocytopenia. Occasionally, the development of red freckles on the ankles could be a condition known as Cherry Angiomas, which is usually a group of dilated blood vessels getting together to form a benign skin tumor that is like a red cherry. They are raised red skin dots that do not itch, but are common in the elderly.
Non-itchy red dots on the ankles can be caused by any of the following: leukemia, aplastic anemia, Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, thrombocytopenia purpura, Cushing syndrome, hypothermic anesthesia, scurvy, Marfan’s syndrome, Senile petechial hemorrhage, chemotherapy, Vitamin K deficiency, radiotherapy, Polycythemia vera, sun exposure, rickettsial infection, prosthetic heart disease, Lupus, dengue fever, hypersplenism, tanning, after sunburn, etc.
Red freckles on Eyelids
Red freckles periodically occur on the eyelids. The appearance, as well as the nature of the spots, would help to determine its origin or cause. Some of these spots appear in clusters while others appear singly. Some red freckles appear to grow, whereas others have whiteheads on the top. One other way to determine the cause of the spots is to see whether they come with symptoms or not. Those that itch could point to red freckles with allergic origin. If the red spots are accompanied with swelling, it signifies the presence of blood accumulation as well as infection.
Another thing that can cause red freckles on the eyelids is insect bites. Insect bites lead to allergic reactions in certain individuals thereby resulting in red spots. Those spots can be managed with the application of calamine lotion, antihistamines, or other soothing creams.
Red freckles during Pregnancy
Some skin challenges come with pregnancy. And we will quickly talk about those different skin changes you are likely to see during pregnancy and their causes.
- Heat rash: These rashes appear as small red dots which can be slightly raised and are usually common in areas of the body that are moist and warm. They are mostly found on the inner thighs and under the breasts. The reason for its frequency during pregnancy is because of hormonal effects on the sweat glands which stimulate them to produce heat.
- Prurigo of pregnancy: Prurigo of pregnancy is a small bump on the skin which is similar to insect bites. They can start with a few bumps, but usually, increase as time goes by. They are common on the feet, legs, hands and arms.
- Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy: Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy otherwise known as PUPPP, brings about itchy patches with small, bumps or red dots. Most of the times, the condition begins on the lower abdomen and then spreads all over the stomach, to the breasts, legs and buttocks. It is commoner in the third trimester of pregnancy and affects about 1 in every 200 pregnant women.
How to Prevent Red freckles
Red freckles can be prevented in several ways. But here are a few ways you can successfully prevent the condition from developing.
- Use wide-brimmed hats: This will help to adequately shield the various parts of your body from the harsh effects of the sun.
- Use sunscreens with SPF 30: Sunscreens with Sun protective Factor (SPF) 30 are quite helpful in preventing red freckles.
- Stay away from the sun: Avoid undue sun exposure and do not get involved in sun tanning too.
- Use sun protective clothing: Cover the various parts of your body that can be easily reached by the sun rays. Make use of long sleeve shirts, long trousers, shirts, etc to keep the extremities from the effects of the sun.
Red freckles can create a dent in your self-esteem and reduce your ability to socialize with others. However, if you keep to the suggestions we have made in this write-up, you will be able to easily reduce the effects of red freckles, and then give yourself a better aesthetic look.