Smooth and blemish-free skin is the dream of every person. However, if you are living in Melbourne, which has a depleting ozone layer, it becomes difficult to enjoy this luxury. The harmful effect of the ultraviolet radiations is evident on lighter skin tones in the form of freckles.
These are flat brown spots which usually appear on the face, neck and arms. Although they may have a genetic background, they are primarily caused by sun exposure. Freckles are accumulated skin cells which are filled with the pigment melanin. They begin appearing at a young age and become darker with high exposure to the sun.
They can be easily fixed with the help of laser treatment from a reputed laser clinic in Melbourne. So if you are struggling to get rid of your freckles, then take a look at the effective ways of dealing with the skin problem mentioned below.
1. Appropriate Sun Protection
Besides freckles, the harsh sunlight is also responsible for skin cancer, and we have the highest number of cases in the country. More than 15,000 new cases of melanoma skin cancer were diagnosed in 2019, and the reason behind this is that most people are not aware of the right time of using sun protection.
The UV radiation is the highest during 10:30 am to 4:30 pm, which leads to freckles and other types of sun damage. The UV levels have been increasing over the past few years in the summer season due to rising temperatures and climate change.
Thus whenever the UV levels are three or above, you must apply a waterproof and broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above. It is also recommended to stay covered when venturing out in the sun with protective clothing, hats, sunglasses and umbrellas as freckles appear on the arms and shoulders as well.
Reapply the sunscreen after every few hours if you have been sweating or have wiped your skin with paper towels.
2. Laser Treatment
Freckles can be removed with the help of a safe and proven laser treatment which can be completed in one or two sessions. In some extreme cases, it may take more time, such as a wide area to be covered for treatment. The two sessions are spaced a month apart, which allows the skin to heal.
The procedure involves numbing the area with a topical cream so that the patient doesn’t feel any pain during the procedure. Pulses of high-intensity light are then utilised to target the freckles on the skin. After the session, the freckles appear darker, and the patients witness some redness around the surrounding skin.
In a few days, the darker freckles start scabbing and then peel off. It is a painless treatment and recovery time is between one and two weeks. Your laser technician will prescribe specific medication and suggest restricting the consumption of other medicines for effective results.
3. Retinol-Based Creams
Retinol is a type of vitamin A which has many benefits, including removal of fine lines, enlarged pores and reduction of melanin which is responsible for freckles. Thus it is recommended for fading freckles and improving the skin texture as it aids in boosting collagen production.
It is available in the form of retinol serums, retinol creams, retinol oil, peel and masks in supermarkets. You need to check the ingredients and make the purchase. Some people are concerned about their usage during the summers.
However, it is completely safe to use retinol-based creams during summers. You can apply them at night and use a sunscreen during the day to avoid pigmentation in sunlight.
4. Home Remedies
Some foods are significantly helpful in reducing the appearance of freckles, such as the malic acid in apple cider vinegar. It aids in removing the darkened cells from the surface of the skin. To reduce the spots, the apple cider vinegar should be mixed with honey in a 2:1 proportion and applied on the affected area.
You can rinse it off after 15-20 minutes and repeat it every alternate day to get the best results. Another household item, lemon, is also beneficial in reducing melanin production. The vitamin C present in the citric fruit has photo-protective properties.
Lemon juice can be applied directly on the skin with a cotton ball and rinsed off after 15-20 minutes. Similarly, aloe vera, banana peel and yoghurt are considered useful home remedies in treating freckles and stop them from further darkening. However, you have to religiously follow the routine for a long time to see the difference.
5. Skin Lightening Creams
Over-the-counter lightening creams are topical fading creams, and the supermarkets are flooded with them. Some of them contain hydroquinone which is banned in European countries since 2000 but is sold in Australia. Hydroquinone is known for decreasing melanin production.
These creams are widely popular among the Asian community living in Australia who prefer lighter skin and attach social status to it. However, many dermatologists are concerned about their prolonged use and also the non-disclosure of other ingredients used in these creams.
The side-effects include dryness, blistering and skin discolouration. Thus you must take spot tests before using them and keep your skin type in mind while picking a particular product.
Freckles are not skin damage. They are caused due to prolonged exposure to the sun and can be effectively treated with a multitude of treatments. You must take the side-effects into consideration while opting for each of them. Also, make sure that you visit a renowned and well-established laser clinic in Melbourne if you opt for laser treatment to ensure safety and success.