The éphélides or freckles are small spots (1-5 mm) flat and more pigmented that the surrounding skin, particularly frequent in the roux, hence their name. However, they can occur in all individuals to clear skin of the globe, most often in the blond in Browns. They are found mainly on the parties frequently exposed to the Sun, such as the face, hands, and possibly shoulders, back and chest, where they can be coalesced. They darken or fade following exposure to the Sun. Freckles do not constitute a threat to health but report a type of skin especially sensitive to solar radiation. The term freckle, in which it recognizes (instrumental result) epi- and Heli-(Helios, Sun), can be interpreted as “effect of the Sun”.

Freckles and other pigment spots

Authentic them freckles appear in childhood and tend to fade with age (it is between five and fifteen years in General that they are the most obvious). This characteristic different from another type of macule very similar in appearance, although often more dark, called solar lentigine or Sun spot, which typically appears in adulthood as a result of prolonged sun exposure, and not disappear spontaneously.

These two kinds of spots must pigmentation in the presence of a significant amount of melanosomes produced by melanocytes in normal or even reduced, but sometimes larger than a normal melanocyte. In the case of the “perfect” roux, freckles are the only areas of skin that contain melanosomes, the surrounding white surfaces being unable to Tan.

The ordinary lentigine (non-solaire) or lentigo is a stain that looks like his birth in a solar lentigine, but histological examination highlights an increase in the number of melanocytes in the basal layer. This type of stain is changing in General to the grain of beauty. The coffee stain with milk is a type of greater spot which did appears in limited number on the body (typically not more than three or four).

Genetics and biochemistry

The importance of inheritance in the appearance of freckles has been demonstrated. For example found that their number may be significantly different in false twins, but always in the same order in the identical twins. As their relationship with the freckles suggested, the presence of éphélides (and to a lesser extent of sun spots) is more common in the MC1R gene variants linked to the freckles carriers. Thus, a Dutch research has highlighted 27 variants of the gene related to the presence of freckles. With two variants, the éphélides are more numerous.

The type of melanin in freckles was not yet the subject of a detailed search and cannot only be guessed from the colour of the hair. If the éphélides of authentic red people probably produce only the phaéomélanine, it can be assumed that in the others it is a eumelanin-phaéomélanine mix, or even of eumelanin only.

Spots freckles and aesthetic

The appreciation of freckles varies depending on people. If some find them a crazy charm, others want to mitigate. As for the Solar lentigines, suggested treatments based on hydroquinone or Kojic acid (cream) sometimes combined with the trétinoïde, or destruction by cryotherapy, chemical peeling or laser.

Social and cultural

In Breton, freckles are the “Pikou Panez” (patches of parsnips, the vegetable)

Generally tree by the roux, they have long been seen as a sign of misfortune for the more superstitious. During the long period of the Inquisition, or the witch-hunt, freckles were seen as the marks of the sorcerers, they were considered indisputable Satan signs: “women who wore had had sexual intercourse with the devil.” “Their epidermal punctuation named them as witches.”

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