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Acne & Freckles

By Kathy Mayse ; Updated July 18, 2017

Although acne and freckles are completely unrelated, they sometimes appear together and they do have some similarities. Both acne and freckles create imperfections on the skin of the face, chest, back and shoulders. For the most part, acne can be treated and cleared up quickly. However, permanent scarring may occur in severe cases. Freckles tend to fade over time with the proper treatment. The permanent effects of both acne and freckles are treated with the same medications or similar cosmetic treatments.

Acne

Identified by red, irritated and infected skin pores, acne erupts as pimples, blackheads, nodules and deep cysts. Teenagers are more likely to suffer from acne, but adults can suffer from acne as well, according to MayoClinic.com. Women especially are prone to acne breakouts during or immediately prior to their menstrual cycle and during pregnancy.

Freckles

Freckles, small accumulations of pigment within the skin, appear on sun-exposed areas of the skin, according to DermNet NZ. Freckles are common in fair-skinned people and people with red hair. Although dark-skinned people normally do not develop freckles, anyone can develop freckles. The amount and color of freckles often increases with sun exposure.

Causes

The causes for acne include oily skin, the accumulation of dead skin cells around pore openings and bacteria. Freckles result from hyperactive cell production in the skin. Small cells within the skin called melanocytes produce skin pigment. Sun exposure, increases melanin or pigment production, resulting in tanned skin and, in some people, freckles.

Treatment

Freckles gradually fade with time and proper protection from the sun. Treatment is not necessary, but some elect to treat, cover or fade their freckles with over-the-counter treatments, cosmetics or cosmetic laser procedures. Acne treatments include over-the-counter acne cleansers, prescription topical treatments, antibiotics, isotretinoin and dermabrasion, according to MayoClinic.com. Treatment options for acne and freckles sometimes overlap. Some common treatments used to treat both conditions include retinoids, vitamin-C and cosmetic lasers.

Considerations

Certain conditions, such as pregnancy, can exacerbate acne blemishes and freckles, causing them to become more noticeable and numerous, according to Kids Health. During pregnancy, blood flow increases to the skin, resulting in increased oil production. Elevated hormones cause the skin to produce more pigment. Both of these factors cause acne and freckling in pregnant women.

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