I absolutely adore the summer and always feel so much fresher and more healthy with a sunkissed glow. Golden skin, good vibes and sunshine is something that I’d imagine the majority of us look forward to throughout the year. But one downside of summer, at least for me, is the occurrence of freckles!
Hungarian and Irish in origin, I have fair skin and have so many moles and freckles all over my body, even moreso in the summer when I seem to get a new freckle each week. Having pale skin I feel that freckles really stand out and I guess it’s personal preference as to whether you like them or not as they’re entirely harmless and make no difference to your health. A lot of people look so cute with freckles and it’s definitely on trend in summer fashion to have freckles on the face in summer, with top makeup artists even creating fake freckles, but they’re just not for me.
I’ve never attempted to remove my freckles before, but once or twice I’ve googled to see if it was possible and found horror stories online of people burning themselves with home bleach and creams they’ve purchased online to remove pigment. Whilst i’ve had several moles professionally removed at a clinic, freckles are far smaller, more common and less obvious than moles so I left them alone until now.
As summer is coming to an end now my arms seem to be dotted with freckles all over and I just find them so noticeable and would prefer not to have them if given the choice. I booked in for my first treatment of sunspots freckle removal at Expert Centre, just off of Oxford Street in London, when I have laser hair removal and love my results, I discovered that they also have freckle removal as a treatment too and couldn’t wait to give it a go!
Essentially, dark sunspots, freckles or age spots create an uneven complexion which can be treated with a laser to remove the lesions and leave clear, fresh and even skin. Ephelides, or freckles as they’re most commonly know, are caused by melanocyte cells over-producing melanin. Lentigines, or liver/age spots, are a variation which have clear edges and instead of having more melanin, they hold an increased amount of melanocyte cells. Freckles appear naturally on all types of skin and tones but are most common in skin tones 1 and 2 which are predominantly north europeans.
Freckles are not dangerous themselves, but they do indicate sun damage to the skin as they develop as a response to the suns ultraviolet rays as an attempt to protect the skin from further damage. Freckles can often be temporary, however the majority of mine I have had for years and more seem to pop up from nowhere every summer. Top-of-the-range lasers can give visible results in a very short space of time with a quick and convenient non-surgical and non-invasive treatment.
The laser treatment works by targeting the pigment of the freckle without damaging the surrounding skin. The freckle initially darkens as its pigment rises to the surface of the skin before scabbing and falling off. The new skin beneath is then fresh and pink, free from pigment. This laser treatment is suitable for men and women alike but isn’t recommended for olive to very dark skin tones as skin peels are an alternative treatment method to lasers for darker skin tones.
Each freckle is unique and results will vary between individuals, but on average one to three sessions are recommended for best results depending on the number and colour of freckles that you have. The lighter the skin and darker the freckle the better the outcome will be in one session. Initially the freckles will be darker directly after treatment, scab and heal completely within 7-10 days if left alone and not picked. Results are noticeable after the first session with the majority of freckles disappearing and others which may need follow-up treatments fading significantly.
The treatment itself is very similar to laser hair removal. Whilst you lay back on a bed the laser technician begins by cleansing the skin and then marking white pencil boxes around each freckle to indicate where the laser will target. A protective card with cut-out circles is then placed onto the skin, exposing the freckle and protecting the surrounding area from the laser, before a short pulse of light is concentrated onto the freckle. It feels warm, like the rush of air when opening an oven door and the sensation lasts for less than a second as treatment is complete.
I had several freckles treated on each arm, some were small and others large, some dark whilst others were light so it will be interesting to see how the results may vary from freckle to freckle. The procedure isn’t painful or uncomfortable at all, it was very quick, convenient and easy to sit through; my freckles already look darker which is a great indication that the treatment was successful. The technician then cleansed my arm and there’s nothing more for me to do, just wait for the freckles to scab and drop off.
I was able to wear my clothes immediately after as normal and my skin isn’t sore or sensitive, there’s no tenderness, moisture or oozing like you may expect from a cut graze, or burn. Aside from my freckles appearing darker and a little red, you wouldn’t really be able to tell that anything has been done to them. Now I can carry on with my week and wait 7-10 days to see the results – how exciting!
UPDATE: 9 Days After Treatment
It was so exciting to see my freckles darken, dry out and begin to scab much like a cut or graze. I’ve been busy pottering on with life, work and the children and didn’t really notice the healing process take place as my treated freckles were not painful or uncomfortable post-treatment so I almost forgot about them.
By nine days post-treatment my freckles have now dried out, scabbed and naturally lifted off to expose beautiful, clear and bright fresh skin beneath that I’m so excited about as the brown blotches that I disliked are finally gone!
The new skin is tan-free which means that it’s only noticeably different when you look closely, which over the coming weeks will adjust to natural skin colour rather than being pink and new like after having a graze.
This process has been so quick, convenient and easy to go through and I love how flawless my skin looks and feels now without freckles scattered all over. I have a few more freckles on my legs, neck and chest that I’m now considering removing because of how successful the results have been.
Some of my freckles were smaller than others, lighter than others and in different positions, but all have been successfully treated and removed after just one session which I wasn’t expecting, as I’d have thought that some would respond better than others so it’s been a very pleasant surprise to see my results.
If you’re considering making any changes to your skin or body, always consult a specialist and do your research into previous patients and results as well as being fully informed on what to expect. I hope in sharing my freckle-removal journey here I can help to keep others safe and aware of what is truly involved in this process.