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Ever Wonder Why Many Redheads Have Freckles?

They're genetic too!

Usually, redheads have freckles. They may form on the face, shoulders, legs, arms, or all of the above! Have you ever wondered why redheads (and non-redheads) get freckles? Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with a private practice in New York City, and Nada Elbuluk, MD, a dermatologist at Keck Medicine of USC, contributed to the original article.

What are freckles? 

Freckles (aka sun kisses) are small areas of skin that contain higher amounts of melanin. Melanin is the pigment-protein that determines our hair, eye, and skin color. Melanin darkens the skin and protects you from UV rays. And, freckles appear when your skin is exposed to the sun and melanin forms.

So, a freckle is essentially nothing more than an unusually heavy deposit of melanin at one spot in the skin. However, it’s important to keep an eye on your freckles, especially if you see some changing shape, size, and color.

Are they genetic? 

Yes! If your parents have freckles, chances are you will, too.

Why do redheads tend to have freckles? 

Redheads have less melanin in their skin. Remember, melanin protects your skin from the UV rays and makes you look tan (when melanin spreads out evenly). Due to the low number of melanin, redheads develop freckles like crazy constellations rather than getting tan.

Redheads should always consider wearing protective coverings and seeking shade when the sun is at its strongest, especially if you’re prone to burns. These precautions can help protect you against sunburns, damage to your skin cells’ DNA, and increase the risk of skin cancer, eye problems, and premature aging.

Do you take care of your freckles? Rock it like a Redhead! 

Subscribe to the H2BAR Box: A monthly and quarterly beauty subscription box for redheads! Use code: REDHAIR for 10% off. Subscribe now! 


Photo Credit: Brock Elbank. See more of his work here.