Common causes of beauty marks and freckles include genetics and sun exposure. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun trigger the production of melanin in the skin by melanocytes. People with blonde or red hair, light-colored eyes and fair skin are more prone to the damaging effects of UV rays.
|Beauty marks (moles)||Freckles|
|Color||Black or a bit darker than freckles||Brown|
|Causes||Melanocytes growing in clusters or clumps||Excess localized production of melanin triggered by sun exposure|
|Location||Face, neck, shoulder, or collarbone area||Body parts exposed to the sun|
||Flat, beige, brown, circular spots that are typically the size of the head of a metal nail|
|Benign or cancerous||Benign but sometimes may turn cancerous||Benign|
|Border||Irregular with uneven edges||Irregular and well-defined|
What are beauty marks?
Beauty marks may be present at birth or be acquired over time. It occurs when melanocytes grow in clusters or clumps.
What are freckles?
Freckles are flat brown spots on the skin that form due to overproduction of melanin and an increase in the total number of melanin-producing cells called melanocytes.
They are formed as multiple spots on skin after repeated exposure to sunlight and are common in people with fair complexions and red hair.
There are two types of freckles:
Are beauty marks or freckles dangerous?
Freckles are completely harmless and don’t have the potential to turn malignant.
Beauty marks, however, while usually harmless, can turn cancerous. Always consult a dermatologist to determine whether you should be concerned about a mole. Warning signs that may indicate skin cancer include:
How to prevent beauty marks and freckles
The best way to prevent beauty marks or freckles is to avoid sun exposure. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, ultraviolet A, and ultraviolet B +++ when going outdoors. Reapply after every 40 minutes.
If you are at higher risk of developing skin cancer, monitor your moles regularly. This includes people who have:
Skin Problems and Treatments Resources
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Mayo Clinic. Moles. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/moles/symptoms-causes/syc-20375200
WebMD. Moles, Freckles, and Skin Tags. https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/moles-freckles-skin-tags
Medline Plus. Are Moles Determined by Genetics? https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/traits/moles/