May. 14, 2021

The difference between freckles and sunspots

Freckles and sun spots are very similar , they are small round spots on our skin that often give a natural blush effect to our face. Anyway, they are not exactly the same !

Spots VS Sunspots


Freckles are flat round spots on the skin that can look like many small 'dots'. Essentially, they are excess melanin deposits produced by the action of UV light penetration.

They act as light sunscreens and are a natural way to prevent the penetration of UV rays into the skin . In particular, they protect the areas of the skin that are particularly sensitive to ultraviolet light.

Because of this, freckles are a good indicator that you should regularly and generously apply sunscreen to prevent sun damage.


Sunspots are larger than freckles (.2-2.0 centimeters) and they usually appear with age, which is why they are sometimes called age spots .

Sunspots usually begin to form in your mid-thirties or forties. By exposing the skin to the sun for years , the skin cells begin to produce melanin, which causes the sun spots.

They can fade if the sun is avoided long enough.

A few more differences

Another difference is that the presence of freckles on the skin is due to genetics . They are in fact hereditary, although their activation is the result of exposure to the sun. Sunspots, on the other hand, usually appear with age .

Freckles tend to fade with age and even with the seasons , while sun spots usually last longer. Therefore, sun spots may require skin treatment to remove them.

Some similarities

Neither freckles nor sun spots are harmful as long as they remain unchanged, as soon as they change color or shape it can be a sign of skin cancer. That is why it is important to keep an eye on the size, color and shape .

It is important to prevent the appearance of sun spots on the skin, mainly through the use of a broad spectrum sunscreen . This protects against both UVA and UVB rays , in addition, one must also take the necessary precautions when exposed to the sun.

The importance of your skin type


How your skin reacts (the appearance of freckles and/or sun spots) and how quickly your skin tans or burns depends on your skin type. And this is genetically determined.

People with darker skin naturally produce more melanin (pigment). This pigment in the cell will cover the DNA so that the harmful UV rays cannot damage the skin cells. It's a natural defense mechanism.

This does not mean that people with dark skin should not protect their skin. It is true that fair skin burns faster (due to UVB rays), but the UVA rays that cause skin aging have the same effect on every skin type.

What is Melanin?

Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin its color. The production of melanin protects us from harmful UV rays from the sun. When our pigment cells (melanocytes) produce too much melanin or are disturbed, pigment spots can occur. The appearance of pigment spots is often due to too much sun exposure, but can also be caused by other factors.

Learn more and discover your real skin type

Because UV rays, pigmentation and skin aging go hand in hand, I have collected all the information in a skin tip.

What does Nomige do for you?
By examining your DNA, we can gain more insight into your skin aging process. In the lab we analyze several genes involved in collagen homeostasis, antioxidant protection, barrier function and skin hydration.

Based on your DNA profile, we know what risks you carry and we develop products whose ingredients can counteract these risks.

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Questions about pigmentation?

Discover dr. Barbara Geusens' tips on pigmentation. Don't hesitate to contact us with any other questions.

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Everything you need to know about your skin