Moles are a common form of growth or formation on your skin that appear often in the form of small, black spots. They can develop anywhere on the body. They usually occur during adolescence or childhood and with the passage of time, they may change colour. Moles are a type of skin growth, which usually do not go away with time.
On the other hand, freckles are often described as round, flat, dark colour spots which vary in size from about 2mm to 4mm. They may result from pigment precipitation in one particular area as the skin that surrounds the dark spot is comparatively lighter in shade. Being sensitive to the sun’s ultra violet rays, freckles become more noticeable during or after sunlight exposure. Although freckles are usually found in areas which are not covered from the sun’s exposure, they could also occur anywhere on your body.
What causes them?
Moles are caused due to certain skin cells, known as melanocytes, grow in a very close group instead of being evenly and normally spread across the skin. Moles that occur during birth are called congenital nevi and their chances of occurring are around 1 in a 100. These moles are more prone to develop into skin cancer (melanoma) in later stages of life.
Freckles on the other hand are
- Genetically transferred, so the chance of you becoming affected are higher, if any of your parents have it.
- If there’s a prolonged exposure to the sunrays, then freckles may appear on your skin and they become even more prominent on a fair skin. Since the presence of melanin is less in people with fair skin the sunlight exposure causes these dark spots to surface easily
- Hormonal imbalances could be yet another reason for freckles to appear as estrogen could be over-stimulate cells that produce pigment and thus become more prominent in the presence of sunlight.
- Rare disorders like Xeroderma Pigmentosum (a condition leading to extreme light sensitivity and also skin cancer in certain cases) can make your skin more sensitive to the UV rays, thus resulting in freckles.
Treatment of moles and freckles
- Laser Treatment: There are different types of lasers which are absolutely safe and can help reduce or lighten these dark spots effectively.
- Cryosurgery: The physician would use a light freeze in conjunction with liquid nitrogen to reduce the spots of freckles. However, not every spot responds to this kind of treatment.
- Retinoids: Mostly used with a combination of other bleaching creams, retinoids help reduce freckles when used continuously for a couple of months. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dermatologist.