Everything you need to know about getting rid of freckles

getting rid of freckles
Victorian Dermal Group
Victorian Dermal Group
July 13, 2021
minute read

Here's how to get rid of frustrating freckles

There are plenty of good things about the sun, like warmth, light, and the opportunity for plants to photosynthesise. But freckles? We'd rather do without them, thank you very much, Mr Sun! While most freckles are harmless, and some people find their freckles aesthetically pleasing, this isn't the case for everybody. Freckle removal is an in-demand skincare treatment, with many Australians looking for a way to achieve consistently coloured skin.

If you're fed up with your freckles and want to remove them, you're in luck. You don't have to wait for the winter, or shut yourself away indoors for months on end: there are a variety of different freckle removal treatments that can either get rid of your freckles entirely or dramatically fade them.

We've put together the following guide to freckles, and how to get rid of them. We'll answer questions like:

  • What are freckles?
  • Do freckles go away with age?
  • What causes freckles to appear?

We'll also discuss some of the best ways to prevent freckles from appearing, and walk you through some of the most effective and popular freckle-removal techniques and technologies that we have on offer.

Our team at the Victorian Dermal Group have helped countless people to love their skin. We offer a range of laser treatments and sell only the best skincare products that demonstrably work. Find out more about how we can work together to remove your freckles.

What are freckles?

woman with freckles

Freckles are small brown spots on the skin. They're usually more common in people with light skin, and they appear after sun exposure as a response to the skin being stimulated by UV light. They can form on the face, the hands, the arms, or anywhere else on the skin that is touched by the sun.

Still, people with freckles know all too well that there's a bigger story at play. Two people with similar skin tones spending a similar amount of time in the sun can still have an enormous discrepancy in the number of freckles they get. The answer seems to be genetic. Studies have shown that people with the MC1R gene are more likely to have freckles, as are people who are frequently out in the sun without adequate protection.

One of the ways that freckles are differentiated from moles is that they're not growths, so they cannot be cut off. The only effective way to fade and/or remove freckles is to stay out of the sun, or to pursue freckle-removal technology.

Are freckles good or bad?

Freckles are neither good nor bad. They're neutral, like Tom Bombadil, Loki, and Al Bundy from Married with Children. Freckles do not have known health benefits. And, unlike moles, they very seldom pose any health risks. Whether you perceive freckles as a positive or a negative is entirely subjective.

Some people absolutely love their freckles. Indeed, some people who wish they had freckles, have even been known to tattoo fake freckles onto their faces. Others aren't quite so keen on having spotted pigment, and prefer to prevent and remove their freckles. If you fall into that latter category and are keen to get rid of your freckles, our skincare team at VDG can help with treatments.

Do freckles go away with age?

There are two kinds of spots that people refer to as freckles, ephelides and solar lentigines. The former will go away with age, and usually fade on their own during the winter. The latter is actually sunspots, and they become more prominent with age. They do not fade with time.

Ephelides: These are ordinary freckles that should fade away with time (although sometimes that doesn't happen as quickly as people would like). It can happen quickly: it's not uncommon for some people to have a face full of freckles in the sunny summer, and a freckle-free visage in the wintertime. In other cases, it can happen over a course of years, and people find themselves having fewer freckles as they get over.

Solar lentigines: These are also known as sun spots or liver spots. They will not go away over time: even with limited UV exposure, wide-brimmed hats and copious amounts of sunscreen, the freckles stick around! In these cases, the only tried and tested solution for removing these sunspots is a freckle removal treatment by a trained professional.

What causes freckles to suddenly appear?

Human skin can react very quickly when exposed to the sun. Even just a few minutes outside on a high UV day can result in sunburn for some people. This is also true of freckles. Even a small amount of time exposed to UV light can result in freckling.

Ultimately, it's a good thing that our skin can react so quickly to changing conditions — it's an evolutionary function designed to protect us from the sun — but the rapid onset of freckles certainly can be frustrating for freckle-phobic people! Thankfully, freckle removal treatments can start working effectively almost as fast.

Will sunscreen prevent freckles?

face of a woman with freckles

The right sunscreen, properly applied, can prevent the appearance of freckles. For better protection from UV rays, choose a sunscreen with a higher SPF rating, and make sure that you follow the instructions.

Still, some people are so prone to freckling that even with conscientious sun-smart precautions like sunscreen, some freckling is practically unavoidable.

Additionally, while sunscreen will prevent freckles, it won't reverse or remove the freckles that are already present on a person's skin. To effectively remove freckles, more involved and sophisticated measures are necessary.

Can you get rid of freckles permanently?

We have several treatment options designed to permanently get rid of your freckles. We have access to lasers, serums and chemical peels, all of which are extremely helpful in fading and abolishing freckles.

However, even after we take action to lighten or get rid of your freckles, you're still at risk of developing more freckles in the future. If you're committed to a freckle-free look, it's important not just to treat the freckles you have but also to prevent freckles from forming. Stay sun-smart, by wearing a broad-brimmed hat and applying generous quantities of sunscreen.

Does Vitamin C remove freckles?

Vitamin C serum can help with freckle removal, but some freckles are more persistent than others. Certainly, however, when applied in serum form Vitamin C does lighten freckles. As well as having a host of other benefits, the serum will suppress melanin cells, and rejuvenate your skin. Vitamin C can help with discolouration and, over time, it will lead to brighter and healthier skin. It also protects skin from free radical damage.

Will a chemical peel remove freckles?

A chemical peel is a process by which chemicals are applied to the skin, resulting in exfoliation and the peeling off of old and damaged skin. There are many benefits to having a chemical peel, like younger-looking and rejuvenated skin, but a chemical peel can also have the added benefit of removing or significantly lightening freckles.

There are several different kinds of chemical peels. The entry-level procedures are superficial peels that only peel off the top layers of skin. More involved treatments, like deep and medium peels, are more powerful and peel off more skin. A superficial peel won't have a big impact on freckles, but a medium-level peel should result in lightening or removing those spots.

Does laser remove freckles permanently?

laser removal for freckles

Laser treatment is one of the most effective ways of removing freckles. Many freckles are often removed after just one session, and even persistent freckles can fade into obscurity after repeated sessions.

Laser treatment will remove your freckles, but long term, new freckles can appear if you're not careful in the sun. While laser treatment is effective and a very popular choice, it's important to still be sun-safe with shade, hats, and sunscreen if you want to keep freckles away for the long haul.

Does IPL remove freckles?

Intense Pulsed Light therapy (IPL) can help some people to achieve clearer skin. IPL is similar to laser treatment, in that it is a process of flashing light on the skin. However, IPL releases light across the wavelength spectrum.

With IPL treatment, light is converted into heat and absorbed by the pigment cells in the skin. Unwanted pigment is destroyed, abolishing freckles and other kinds of spots. IPL works less effectively on people with darker toned skin, but on many people, it can help with concerns such as:

  • Freckles
  • Sun damage
  • Birthmarks
  • Varicose veins
  • Rosacea
  • Broken blood vessels
  • Unwanted hair

If, however, by IPL you mean 'Indian Premier League', then no, it won't work to remove freckles. At no point has any Twenty20 cricket league been shown to remove freckles.

Does retinol get rid of freckles?

Retinol is a Vitamin A serum, and it can lighten your freckles. It's a great solution for freckle removal, because the serum is suitable for any skin type — even sensitive skin. And it doesn't just help with freckle reduction. Retinol improves skin tone and texture in general, and can fight the onset of the signs of premature ageing.

Can you use a combination of treatments to remove freckles?

You certainly can, and often, that would be the advice of a skin care professional. Our team at VDG have helped lots of people remove and lighten freckles, and they'll be able to recommend the right products and procedures to suit your skin and preferences.

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