Freckles are small areas of skin with extra pigment. These tiny spots are usually tan or light brown and lie flat. They often develop during childhood, though people can continue to get them throughout their lives. There are two kinds of freckles: ephelides and solar lentigines. The former are genetic and appear in childhood, while the latter are more common in older adults and come from sun exposure.

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1. Causes

Freckles are caused by genetics and sun exposure. It's common for people with lighter complexions to developed freckles because the skin doesn't produce the kind of melanin that protects from UV rays. This is also why those with lighter skin, hair, and eyes should take extra care while outside, even on cloudy days.

a woman with freckles Oliver Rossi / Getty Images
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