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How important is heredity with freckles?
Heredity and skin type are very important factors for the tendency to develop freckles. Freckles tend to be inherited genetically and are most common in individuals with fair skin and/or with blond or red hair.
Research in twin siblings, including pairs of identical twins and pairs of fraternal (nonidentical) twins, have found a striking similarity in the total number of freckles found on each pair of identical twins. Such similarities were considerably less common in fraternal twins. These studies strongly suggest that the occurrence of freckles is influenced by genetic factors.
The variations in freckle counts appear to be due largely to heredity.
Ongoing research in a rare disease called xeroderma pigmentosum has also confirmed the genetic tendency of freckles. Excessive freckles in dark-haired individuals are quite common in this disease.
Further, freckles are also found in skin folds like the underarms in another uncommon genetic disease called neurofibromatosis.