What are Freckles?
Freckles are spots on the skin, often in the face, shoulders, arms, and back of an individual. Although these spots have the same number of melanocytes or melanin-producing cells as the surrounding skin, these spots have a concentrated amount of melanin. Thus, the affected areas are much darker than surrounding skin. Often, the main cause of freckles is genetics. Patients who have the dominant melanocortin-1 receptor MC1R gene variant will develop freckles and could pass this to their offspring.
The most common type of freckles observed in people is the ephelides. These are often observed in people who have light or fair skin but darker individuals can also be affected by freckles although the spots are not as pronounced. Often, the spots are intensified by prolonged exposure to the sun. Thus, it is a good idea for an individual with freckles to use protective gear, apparel, and sunscreen or sun block to protect him or her from the sun. Because the spots are affected by the sun, they often intensify in summer and fade in winter.
Another type of freckles is the liver spots. These are caused by a lifetime of prolonged exposure to the sun. These spots are very common in aged people. These spots do not fade in winter although they could intensify in summer.
There is no particular diet that is good for really preventing freckles from occurring or for really curing freckles. There are, however, some food items that one can try to integrate into his or her diet to minimize the appearance of these spots and to make them fade slightly. Here are some suggestions:
- Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C is said to benefit the skin of a person who is suffering from freckles. One of the reasons cited for this is the increased resistance the skin has against the sun’s rays. Such vitamin C rich foods that one should consider adding to his or her diet are green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, green onions, and even sauerkraut.
- A balanced diet that has a lot of vitamin A and vitamin B complex in it is also advised. Vitamin B5 is also essential in keeping skin healthy and this can be found in foods like eggs, milk, cabbage, and wheat germ. Nutritional yeast is also a good source for vitamin B5.
- Keep skin supple and healthy with the use of food that is laden with essential fatty acids. Try to incorporate sources of essential fatty acids into your diet like flax seed oil and other vegetable oils.