Home Lifestyle What Is the Difference Between Sunspots and Freckles?

What Is the Difference Between Sunspots and Freckles?

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Several skin issues are part of human nature, some of which are close to inevitable in our lives. Sunspots and freckles are the most common changes to human bodies and can significantly impact one’s confidence, especially if you don’t understand their origin and other crucial details.

Sunspots and freckles are common in humans and, thus, shouldn’t mess with your confidence. Understandably, you might wish to get them removed for cosmetic reasons. If you notice any foreign spot or patch on your skin, you should first get it checked by a qualified professional. They may recommend sun spot removal treatments to help your condition.

The conditions may appear nearly similar, with their differences, prevention, and treatment methods being disclosed in this blog post.

Sunspots vs Freckles

As the term suggests, sunspots (liver or age spots) are sun-inflicted spots caused by staying under a scorching sun for long periods. On the other hand, freckles are inherited patches that occur as a result of long exposures to the sun.

As similar as they may appear, sunspots differ from freckles, including physical appearance, area of concentration, causes, lifespan, catalysts, prevention, and treatment methods.


Understanding sunspots, you can now study their differences from freckles. Sunspots are more prominent (usually 0.2-2.0 centimetres) compared to freckles as they result from when several pigmented cells lump together under a scorching sun. They are usually black or brown, resulting from sun damage and age factors.

In addition, sunspots are commonly found in areas mainly exposed to sunlight, including hands, face, feet, arms, back, and shoulders, lying flat on the skin. The condition can occur to anyone and any age, although people aged 40 years and above are more vulnerable.

Other catalysts for sunspots include people with underlying albinism and sun allergies. Also, those who love wearing light, sleeveless, or bareback garments, light-skinned, and those who spend long hours under the sun for unavoidable reasons are susceptible to sunspots.

Furthermore, people walking under the scorching sun without sunscreen can suffer from sunspots. On the brighter side, sunspots are not cancerous; however, they tend to increase in size as days proceed if not prevented or treated.

How to Prevent Sunspots

Sunspots are relatively preventable with various practices, including wearing medium-heavy and covering garments during hot seasons, applying sunscreen when outside, taking sun spot-prevention cosmetics (under a dermatologist’s prescription) and avoiding sun peak hours.

In addition, dermatologists have recommended wearing hats during sunny days and maintaining a balanced diet to facilitate the production and supply of melanin to prevent sunspots.

How to Treat Sunspots

Even with maximum prevention, you can sometimes slip off the routine and become a victim of sunspots that require removal. The methods of eliminating sunspots vary depending on their intensity and cause.

Mainly, dermatologists recommend the application of aloe vera, castor oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, buttermilk, red onion, and green tea to remove sunspots. You can also use professional treatment methods, which include OTC creams, laser resurfacing, chemical peels, cold therapy, or microdermabrasion.


Freckles are smaller (2mm) than sunspots, appearing around the face, hands, arms, shoulders, and feet due to exposure to the sun and age factors. They are usually red or brown, lying flat and in groups on the victim’s skin.

While they don’t have a specific age bracket, freckles are commonly found in children (whether sun-inflicted or genetic) and usually fade as the years progress. Researchers have associated people of Asian, African American, or Mediterranean descent with freckles, but those of Celtic descent are more vulnerable.

That’s why you will find those having red hair and fair skin with freckles. Generally, anyone with a light complexion is more vulnerable to freckles than dark ones. The good thing is that freckles are nowhere close to being cancerous and might disappear as one age.

Other situations that raise the possibility of getting freckles are remaining under a scorching sun for long periods without sunscreen, wearing light clothes, and suffering from albinism and sun allergies. Although genetic freckles are unpreventable, you must work on the above catalysts to prevent your skin from freckles.

How to Prevent Freckles

According to various dermatologic research, one can get rid of freckles successfully through natural or professional remedies. The natural ways include applying honey, lemon juice, yogurt, or sour cream over the affected area(s) and leaving for some minutes before washing it away.

However, if you experience irritation or discomfort, stop using the remedies and seek professional help. You can also wear sun-protective hats and clothes to protect your skin from the scorching sun. Ensure you avoid stepping out during peak hours of the sun’s rays, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

How to Treat Freckles

A qualified and experienced dermatologist should administer professional ways of eliminating freckles due to their complexity. They include chemical peel, topical retinoid creams, topical fading creams, cryosurgery (cold therapy), laser treatment, and improved sunscreen.

While they may be effective in the short run, professional freckle treatment methods may cause sensitivity, itching, irritation, swelling, peeling, redness, and changes in skin colour to the victim. The treatments are also not advisable for people with a history of oral herpes, skin cancer, and other health conditions, as advised by the doctors.

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