Freckles

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideSun-Damaged Skin: Pictures of Sun Spots, Wrinkles, Sunburns

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What is the value of freckles?

Some people like their freckles, while others may be more bothered by their appearance. The cosmetic improvement of the skin is a frequent request among people with freckles. On the other hand, freckles are desirable by some people who like the special character or uniqueness these give them.

Freckles can have their value. One is in poetry. For example, without freckles, Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), the American physician, professor, and man of letters, could not have written:

His home! the Western giant smiles,
And twirls the spotty globe to find it;
This little speck, the British Isles? 'Tis but a freckle, never mind it.

Medically reviewed by Norman Levine, MD; American Board of Dermatology

REFERENCES:

Bastiaens, Maarten, et al. "The Melanocortin-1-Receptor Gene Is the Major Freckle Gene." Human Molecular Genetics 10.16 (2001): 1701-1708.

Freckles.org. <http://www.freckles.org/>.

Green, Adèle C., Sarah C. Wallingford, and Penelope McBride. "Childhood exposure to ultraviolet radiation and harmful skin effects: Epidemiological evidence." Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 107 (2011): 349-355.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/11/2015

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