Freckles are flat small light-brown spots found on skin that is exposed to the skin often. They are typically the size of the head of a nail and quite often multiply. People with a fair complexion will often find freckles on their upper-body skin areas like the upper shoulders, arms, nose and cheeks.
Freckling is caused by the uneven distribution of the melanin pigment in the skin. A freckle is, therefore nothing more than an unusually heavy deposit of melanin at one spot in the skin.
Bleaching and fading creams can be used to help lighten freckles. These products need to be applied consistently over a period of months and are most effective if used in combination with sun avoidance and sun protection. More invasive methods of lightening freckles include cryosurgery, laser treatments, Photofacials or Intense Pulsed Light treatments and chemical peels.
Birthmarks are congenital, benign irregularities on the skin which are present at birth or appear shortly after birth. A birthmark can appear anywhere on the skin.
The overgrowth of blood vessels, melanocytes, smooth muscle, fat, fibroblasts or keratinocytes is what causes the birthmark.
There are two types of birthmarks: Pigmented birthmarks and Vascular birthmarks.
Pigmented birthmarks are caused by excess skin pigment cells including moles, café au lait spots and Mongolian spots.
Vascular birthmarks are caused by increased blood vessels and include macular stains, haemangioma and Port-wine stains. This type of birthmark is not hereditary.
Being harmless, birthmarks do not require treatment. In some cases, pigmented marks resolve themselves. For cosmetic reasons, vascular birthmarks can be reduced or removed by administering oral or injected steroids, using dermatological lasers or dermatological surgery.
A port-wine stain is a red or purple mark on the skin. They are often found on the face. Port-wine stains are caused by a localised area of abnormal blood vessels. They vary in size from a few millimetres across to many centimetres. The colour can vary from a pale red to a deep purple and tend to darken with age.
Lasers are used to treat port-wine stains. Complete clearance of a port-wine stain is rare and treatment often works best during childhood. For those that don’t want to use the Laser treatment method, there are special coloured cover creams that can be used on the port-wine stain to approve the skin’s appearance.