Difference between Freckles and Dark Spots

Key difference: Freckles and Dark Spots look quite similar, so much so that it may be difficult to tell them apart just by looking at them. The primary differences between them are the fact that freckles generally tend to be lighter and occurs in bunches, whereas dark spots can be light or dark, usually have more rounded edges, and can occur singularly or in bunches.

FrecklesFreckles and Dark Spots are common complaints by people. However, most people don’t realize that they are interrelated. In fact, they are so similar that they are often mistaken for each other, but there are certain differences that do distinguish them from each other.

Freckles and Dark Spots look quite similar, so much so that it may be difficult to tell them apart just by looking at them. The primary differences between them are the fact that freckles generally tend to be lighter and occurs in bunches, whereas dark spots can be light or dark, usually have more rounded edges, and can occur singularly or in bunches. Alternately, dark spots can be less like spots and even be more like dark patches.

Another difference between them, and the primary one at that is the cause behind each of these things. Freckles are mainly caused by one thing, and that is sun exposure. The skin’s job is to protect the body, and everyone knows that the sun damages the skin. One of the effects that sun has on the skin is that exposure to it causes the skin to produce more melanosomes or melanin granules, which causes the skin to become more resistant to sun damage, hence this works as the skin’s defense mechanism.

However, one side effect of melanosomes is that it causes the skin to darken. This small darkened spots are what appear as freckles. Freckles are usually most commonly visible on the face, but can occur on any part of the body that is constantly exposed to the sun. People with light skin are more likely to develop freckles than the ones with darker skin.

Dark SpotsDark spots, on the other hand, can also be caused by sun exposure and due to the same reasons, i.e. the production of melanosomes, which cause skin darkening. However, in addition to this, dark spots can also be caused by aging, which weakens the skin, allowing the dark spots to be more visible. Additionally, the grater the age of a person, the longer they have been exposed to the sun. Hence, their skin produces more melanosomes and develops more dark spots.

Another reason for the development of dark spots can be as a symptom of a disease, such as kidney or liver problems, or even cancer. However, as long as the dark spots do not grow at a fast rate, and do not itch or pain, then there is usually not a cause for concern. Dark spots are also commonly referred to as liver spots or age spots.

Comparison between Freckles and Dark Spots:

 

Freckles

Dark Spots

Description

Flat, tanned multiple circular spots, and the size is usually the head of a common nail.

Dark spots of patches of varying shapes and sizes

Affects

Common among fair skinned people

Can occur amongst anyone and at any time. May usually appear in mid to later stages of life.

Location

Usually found in sun exposed areas of the skin, especially on the upper body skin areas such as the chin, nose, arms, and upper shoulders.

Can be found anywhere on the body, but the ones on the face tend to be more visible.

Causes

Sun exposure

Sun exposure

Age

Hyperpigmentism

Symptom of another illness

Treatment

Reduced sun exposure

Using SPF or UV Protection

Depends on the cause of the spots.

Reduced sun exposure

Using SPF or UV Protection

Drinking more water

Good Skin Regimen

Reference: Wikipedia, Medicine Net, Porcelana, Asherah Health, VeryWell
Image Courtesy: treatcurefast.com, howhunter.com

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