ginger kids

Freckles are clusters of concentrated melanin (an organic pigment ubiquitous in nature) which are most often visible on people with a fair complexion. A freckle is also called an ‘ephelis.’ In contrast to lentigines (liver spots) and moles, freckles do not have an increased number of melanin producing cells (melanocytes). Freckles can be found on anyone no matter their genetic background; however, having freckles is genetic and is related to the presence of a dominant gene.

The formation of freckles is triggered by exposure to sunlight: UV-B radiation activates melanocytes to increase melanin production, which can cause freckles to become darker. Freckles are predominantly found on the face, although they may appear on any skin exposed to the sun, such as the shoulders. They are rare on infants, and more commonly found on children before puberty. Upon exposure to the sun, freckles will reappear if they have been altered with creams or lasers and not protected from the sun, but do fade with age in some cases. They can also be treated with citric acid.

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