Why do we get freckles from the sun?
Most everyone likes a suntan in the summer to give us that glow-y skin and to hide imperfections, but no one likes the dark “freckles” or solar lentigines that come from over exposure. A suntan is actually the skin’s self protection against UV light. UV rays activate melanocytes, which are the skin’s pigment-producing cells. When you get over exposure to sun, the melanocytes’ DNA is damaged which causes them to product too much pigment. The melanin can clump together to result is those pesky freckles. The white freckles come when UV exposure cause melanocytes to stop producing melanin. And what about older people that aren’t in the sun so much… why do they get the dark brown age spots?
Another cause of this discoloration happens when debris builds up below the melanocyte and antioxidants can’t get to the cells. While there are risks associated with overexposure to the sun don’t forget that our bodies need the vitamin D! We are told that in order to maintain optimal vitamin D levels in the body, we need to spend at least 15 minutes a day in the sun and more if you are darker skinned.