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Should I Be Concerned about Baby Freckles?

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  • Written By: Christina Edwards
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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Freckles are caused by overactive skin pigment-producing cells. These dark spots typically become more noticeable after a person's skin is exposed to sunlight. Baby freckles are somewhat rare, but they are not unheard of. Freckles are usually harmless, and there is usually no cause for concern if your baby has them. If your baby has freckles, however, it is usually a sign that he has been exposed to sunlight, so you should make sure he is protected from the sun's damaging rays.

Freckles are the small spots on a person's skin that appear slightly darker than the rest of the skin. These may be tan, brown, or rust colored, and unlike moles, they are flat. Freckles are typically caused by groups of skin cells that contain more pigment-producing cells than the skin cells around them.

Sunlight is usually the cause of most freckles. When the ultraviolet rays of the sun shine on these abnormal skin cells, they produce more melanin, or pigment, which creates freckles. Many experts also believe that freckles are hereditary. Baby freckles are considered somewhat unusual, but it is not impossible for them to develop. Most children, however, will not usually get freckles until they are a few years old.

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Most baby freckles are harmless. Normal small freckles will hardly ever develop into a serious medical condition, such as cancer. If your child develops baby freckles before he is a year old, or he has very large freckles you may want to speak with his pediatrician. He will most likely be able to confirm that these dark spots are freckles and not moles.

Moles are very similar to freckles, and the two can sometimes be confused with each other. Unlike freckles, however, moles may be located on areas of the skin that are not often exposed to sunlight, such as the back. Moles are also usually larger than baby freckles, and they may be raised, whereas freckles are flat. These dark spots should also be monitored carefully for any unusual changes.

The only thing that you should be concerned with regarding baby freckles is that their appearance means the baby is being exposed to the sun. Skin, especially a baby's sensitive skin, can be easily damaged by prolonged exposure to the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. Your baby should be dressed in protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, whenever he is exposed to the sun. Baby sunscreen should also be applied to any exposed areas of skin, including the face and hands.

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bear78
Post 3

My daughter developed several dark marks on her legs and back before she was one. I thought it was freckles and was worried that it was cancerous. It turned that they were moles and not freckles.

I always thought that moles are raised, but my daughter's were not. It can be easy to confuse the two.

SarahGen
Post 2

@ankara-- My nephew was six months old when he started getting freckles. My sister was very careful about exposing him to sunlight and always used long clothing and sun protection creams.

His pediatrician said that part of it is genetics and part of it is sunlight. My sister and brother-in-law both have a lot of freckles so that's probably the main reason.

If you're already taking precautions about sunlight, I'd say it's normal. But have the pediatrician look at it just in case.

bluedolphin
Post 1

Is it normal for a seven month old to have freckles?

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