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Do You Have Freckles? There’s Actually A Scientific Reason You’ve Got Them

Discussion in 'Dermatology' started by Ghada Ali youssef, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

    Dec 29, 2016
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    If you’re someone who has been blessed with the joys of freckles, you’ll know just how divisive the little marks are. Some people love them to the extent that make-up artists actually started drawing them on the faces of models during London Fashion Week. Despite freckles’ brief time in the fashion spotlight, most people stuck with them for good would much rather they had the kind they could remove with soap and water.

    But what actually are freckles and what is their purpose? Well, thanks to a video by the SciShow, which you can watch on the next page, we now have some clear answers. Freckles are formed thanks to cells called melanocytes, which produce small freckle-shaped bits of skin containing more melanin. Melanin is an important protein that develops your skin, hair and eye colour. It also acts as a natural sunscreen, darkening our skin to help prevent damage from the sun’s harmful rays.

    Scientists are starting to better understand freckles, with mounting research proving that they’re a genetic trait: “Research done among sets of twins shows that identical twins have nearly the same number of freckles. Freckles also tend up to show up in similar locations in twins, which gives evidence that freckles pass genetically.”

    Despite some big steps forward, scientists still don’t fully understand how freckles and other genetic traits work. The video, which you can watch on the next page, explains exactly what we do know and how much we don’t.

    Since not all freckled people have red hair and not all red haired people have freckles, scientists have been struggling to find a specific gene that links all these traits together. Hank Green from the SciShow explains:

    While some people might not like the look of freckles, the fact that they are our body’s natural answer to sun damage is pretty impressive. I’m sure residents of this Russian city were preying for more freckles after the sun appeared to spilt into three.



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    Last edited: Feb 13, 2017

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