Freckles have come a long way from being something that would be the reason for teasing in school to something we all want so much we’re willing to draw them on. These days most people think that freckles are the cutest thing ever and there are even special products for drawing them on in the most natural way, freckle transfer tattoos and some people even choose to get freckles actually tattooed on for real. But here are some things you probably didn’t know about freckles.
No One Is Born With Freckles
Freckles are determined by genes, but that doesn’t mean that if you’re genetically meant to have them – you’ll be born with them. No one is ever born with freckles, they always appear from sun exposure. And you’re not really getting sun exposure in the womb. Most people will see their freckles first as toddlers but in some cases they don’t show until puberty.
What Are Freckles
They’re just clusters of melanin. Basically you get your standart freckles that come and go depending on sun exposure, those are the ones that become more visible and darker in the summer and fade in the winter. You can also make them less visible in the summer by wearing SPF (we know, it’s a tough choice between cute freckles and protecting your skiing from the sun). However, those age spots or as some call them “liver spots” we often see on older people, are also freckles, they’re just permanent ones that don’t fade.
Freckles Were The Devil’s Mark In Middle Ages
It sounds insane now, but back in the day it really looked like any mark on a woman’s body was interpreted as the devil’s mark. So if a woman had freckles, birthmarks or god forbig a mole, she would be proclaimed a witch and put to some weird test that would most likely end with her death. Weirdly enough, even though men are as likely to get freckles as women, that was never an issue for them.
Freckles Can Indicate Sun Sensitivity
While we mentioned that freckles can’t cause cancer, they can be a great indicator of how sensitive and reactive your skin is when it comes to the sun. So people who get bug clusters of freckles should be aware that they have a sun sensitivity and are at greater risk for developing skin cancer.
Freckles Never Cause Cancer
There’s a false belief that since freckles are a reaction to the sun, they can become cancerous. But that’s actually a myth. Freckles never become cancerous. They’re always flat and just a change in pigment. Cancer usually starts with moles that are raised and irregular in shape.
Not All Redheads Get Freckles
Freckles are often associated with pale skin and a lot of the time it’s assumed that all redheads will have freckles since they’re so pale. But as we’ve mentioned before it’s all up to a gene and whether it’s active or not. Roughly 4 out of 5 redheads will have freckles but the rest won’t because their MC1R gene won’t be active.
What Causes Freckles
Did you know that whether or not you get freckles is decided by a particular gene? It’s called MC1R and it basically decides what kind of melanin you produce. If it’s active you get darker skin, if it’s inactive then you get lighter skin and reddish freckles.