Serious About Skin

slider Swoosh


Freckles and Facial Pigmentation

Freckles and Facial pigmentation secondary to sun exposure

The Freckle Factor

Freckles are a contentious issue. They’ve recently sparked a trend on Instagram with freckle-free posters creating faux ones with make-up and even glitter. On the other hand, dating website has just came under fire for suggesting that freckles are an ‘imperfection’ on billboards spread across London. What many people do not know though is that freckles can be removed, safely and effectively, with facial pigmentation removal treatments in the same way that we can treat sun damage, melasma and other forms of facial pigmentation.

What causes freckles?

Despite being incredibly common, scientists are still not sure exactly why some people get freckles and some don’t or why some are covered with them whereas others have just a light sprinkling across the nose and cheeks.

We do know that freckles are small dots of skin that contain a high amount of melanin, the protein that colours our skin, eyes and hair.

Melanocytes are the cells that produce melanin and they protect the skin from its UV rays, which is why we usually have an even spread of melanin across the skin. Freckles are formed by ‘clumps’ of melanin and they can darken and lighten depending on sun exposure.

There is a genetic element to freckles and they have been linked to the MC1R gene. This gene tells cells to make the protein that is used to produce melanin and if you have an active MC1R gene you will typically have darker hair and skin, whereas an inactive MC1R gene usually means fairer skin and a higher chance of having freckles.

Although freckles and red hair are controlled by the same gene, red hair is a recessive trait and freckles are a dominant trait so there are probably more genes that are at play in the formation of freckles.

Freckles and facial pigmentationFacial pigmentation

Freckles and facial pigmentation in the form of sun spots are similar in that they are a small spot or clump of melanocytes although areas of pigmentation resulting from sun exposure tend to be larger and more defined than freckles or present as uneven brown patches on the skin.

What can I do about my freckles?

Even for those genetically predisposed to having freckles, extensive sun protection is the best way to prevent them from developing further. For those wanting to get rid of existing freckles, then laser is a highly effective treatment, achieving an almost 100% improvement for the majority of our patients.

At the Specialist Skin Clinic, we use the RevLite laser, the gold standard treatment for facial pigmentation removal. As well as freckles, it can treat sun spots, age spots, photo damage and uneven skin tone. Laser energy is delivered into the melanocyte cells, attracted by the darker pigment, gently breaking up the melanin into smaller particles that can be absorbed by the body.

However, don’t forget the genetic element; if you are prone to freckles then it is essential you use sun protection after treatment or they are likely to return. For more information on facial pigment removal, call 02920 617690 to book a consultation.


request a brochure


Specialist Skin Clinic
10 Penlline Road
CF14 2AD

To book an appointment

T: 02920 617690

F: 02920 621209