New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Différences taches solaires et taches de rousseur.

Sunspots versus freckles.

From a scientific perspective, freckles are referred to as ephelides. They are similar to pigmented macules. Like sunspots, they result from an over-pigmentation of the skin in certain areas. What differentiates sunspots from freckles? And what are their commonalities?

What are the differences between sun spots and freckles?

  • The Causes

Even though the appearance of freckles occurs after exposure to the sun during childhood, they primarily have a genetic origin. If one of your parents has them, it's possible that you may also have them, regardless of your hair color. Be aware, freckles are different from tanning. Indeed, melanin has two components. Pheomelanin, which produces red to yellow pigments, and eumelanin, which produces dark pigments, responsible for the visual aspect of a tan. The skin of sensitive individuals, who have a phototype 1, produce only pheomelanin.

Sunspots , on the other hand, are due to prolonged and repeated exposure to the sun's UV rays , but have no genetic link. As a reminder, melanin production by melanocytes increases under the action of UV rays and pigment abnormalities can occur. They mainly appear on the most frequently exposed parts of the body. Be aware, the use of certain photosensitizing medications can promote lentigines. Moreover, lentigo can also be caused by skin aging. With age, the skin is unable to fully protect itself from external aggressions and deteriorates. A dysfunction of the melanocytes associated with the exhaustion of their pigment potential at the level of the hair bulbs is observed. This phenomenon is attributed to the consequences of repeated attacks of reactive oxygen species (or free radicals) on the nuclei of melanocytes and mitochondria. When this happens, the skin becomes vulnerable to UV rays, responsible for pigment spots then called "age spots". To prevent this, at any age, it is therefore essential to apply a sun protection suitable for your skin tone before sun exposure.

  • The onset period

Freckles tend to appear during the first three years of life, while sunspots intensify and become increasingly numerous with age, typically after the age of fifty. Indeed, they are also referred to as age spots.

  • The appearance of spots

Generally, freckles have a smaller diameter than sunspots. Both types of spots are flat with well-defined edges, but freckles are smaller than sunspots.

What similarities exist between sunspots and freckles?

  • The Concerned Phototypes

    Freckles and sun spots are both significantly more prevalent in individuals with light phototypes (redheads, blondes, light brunettes).

  • The areas of occurrence

    Since these two types of hyperpigmentation are linked to sun exposure, they are found more frequently on the areas often exposed to UV rays such as the back, the face, the décolletage, the back of the hands.


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