The skin is made up of three layers: epidermis (outer layer), dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis which contains blood vessels) and the Subcutaneous Fat ( the bottom layer of the skin made up of fats)
Melanocytes are skin cells found inside the epidermis. Melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin is a chemical substance which is brownish black in color. Melanin gives skin and hair its color.
When melanocytes produce high concentrations of melanin a person will have dark color skin. When only a little melanin is produced a person will have a fair complexion.
Apart from giving hair and skin its color, melanin also protects the skin from damage caused by the sun. It does this by blocking out the harmful rays from the sun.
Sometime melanin may bundle together instead of being evenly spread out throughout the skin. When this happens there will be tiny brown patches which will be darker than the rest of the skin. These patches are called freckles. The medical term for freckles is ‘ephelides.’
Freckles are mostly found on people with a fair complexion.
Although freckles are hereditary its formation can be prompted when skin is exposed to the sun. So always apply a quality sun screen (30 SPF) and wear a hat when going out in the sun.
Listed below are a few home remedies used for treating freckles.
Squeeze out the juice of a fresh lemon. Dip a cotton pad or cotton ball in the lemon juice and apply on the freckles. Lemon juice used in treating freckles is an age old remedy.
Apply any one of the following dairy products on the freckles: yoghurt, sour cream or sour milk. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off with a wet washcloth. Do this every other day before going to bed.
Make a face mask by mixing 2 tablespoons wheat germ with enough warm honey to make a paste. Apply on clean face. Make sure you have washed your face with a mild baby soap and have dried it with a face towel before applying the paste. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
You can also mix a tablespoon of yoghurt with a teaspoon of honey and apply on the face. Again make sure you have cleaned your face before applying the mask. Leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.
Use the face mask three times a week for best results.
© Suranee Perera 2012