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5 Tips for Minimizing Freckles

Kids love collecting freckles on their noses, but adults feel differently about the brown blemishes. See more pictures of getting beautiful skin.

Do you have freckles you wish would disappear? Those scattered little skin spots are a byproduct of living on Planet Earth. They're evidence of sun damage -- they collect over time due to prolonged and repeated sun exposure.

Here's how it happens: Deep in the skin, cells called melanocytes produce pigment, then travel up to the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) to feed that pigment to keratinocytes, the skin cells that act as a barrier to the sun. The pigment-producing melanocytes can only perform for so long before the sun damages the skin permanently. At this point, freckles are produced. Freckles are really collections of leftover melanin stains that sit on the very top layer of unprotected skin.

Freckles are harmless, and some people even think they're cute. But if you'd rather they didn't polka dot your nose and shoulders, here's some good news for you: Freckles can be prevented, minimized and even eliminated. We'll tell you how on the next five pages.