What Are the Common Causes of Freckles on Breasts?

A.M. Boyle

Although many people associate freckles with the facial area, freckles can happen almost anywhere on a person’s body, including the breasts. Many times freckles on breasts are caused by something as simple as sun exposure. Sometimes, the freckles are a matter of genetics. For the most part, they are usually nothing to be concerned about and tend to fade over time. Still, there are other physical conditions that can look like freckles but which aren't and might warrant medical attention.

Freckles on breasts may occur as a result of sun exposure.
Freckles on breasts may occur as a result of sun exposure.

There are basically two common types of freckles, known by the technical names, lentigines and ephelides. Lentigines are darker brown in color and are slightly larger than ephelides. They are usually isolated, not coming in clusters, with asymmetrical shapes. Ephelides are fairly uniform, are usually light brown or tan spots that appear in small groupings, and are about the size of corn kernels. Generally, both types of freckles are harmless and shouldn’t cause concern.

Freckles on breasts may occur as a result of genetics.
Freckles on breasts may occur as a result of genetics.

Both ephelides and lentigines occur when melanin, a dark pigment in the skin, increases in a certain area. If that area happens to be a woman’s chest, freckles on breasts will result. Melanin can be stimulated by exposure of the skin to the sun, especially if a person’s skin is fair or normally doesn’t get much sun. If ephelides on breasts are caused by sun exposure, chances are they will fade once the area is out of the sun and covered up for a time. On the other hand, if the freckles are lentigines, they are probably there to stay.

Genetics might also cause a person to have freckles, and therefore, freckles on breasts could simply be a matter of heredity. If this is the case, although a person’s freckles could become more pronounced if exposed to the sun, the opposite will probably not occur, and the freckles will likely never fade completely. There are methods available to remove or lessen the appearance of both ephelides and lentigines. Consequently, if a person absolutely hates the appearance of freckles, there are measures he or she can take to alleviate the condition.

Not all spots that appear on the skin are necessarily freckles, and individuals should take careful note of any new spots or marks that form on the skin. If what is presumed to be freckles on breasts are raised, bumpy, or blotchy and discolored, they could signify a more serious condition that should be evaluated by a health care professional. Similarly, if the spots feel hot to the touch or are oozing or irritated, they should be checked by a medical specialist.

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Discussion Comments


Do hormones play a part in freckle formation? I know that freckles are mostly caused by genes. But I developed more freckles, especially on my breasts, during pregnancy.

@ankara -- That happens to me as well. My freckles usually fade over winter. If you stay away from the sun, I'm sure yours will fade over winter as well. But if you get sun exposure again, they might return or become darker.

People who are prone to freckles need to wear sunscreen all over their body. If you dread freckles, then avoid the sun and cover the areas you want to protect.

I've also heard that freckles form more easily on the beach because exposing wet skin to sunlight triggers them. But I don't know if there is any truth to this.


I rarely go to the beach and I went last month for a vacation. I have freckles on my face and they usually get darker from sun exposure so I made sure to wear a lot of sunscreen on my face. But I was not expecting to get freckles on my shoulders, chest and breasts from the sun.

How long does it usually last for freckles on the breasts to fade? Am I stuck with these forever?

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