Are People Born With Freckles?

When it comes to the summertime, everyone knows that's when we start to see freckles appearing all over our skin. From our face, to our neck, to even our arms, many people get freckles on their skin after spending a ton of time in the sun. And, those who don't have freckles often wish that they did. Some even undergo the tattoo needle to get some natural looking freckles tattooed onto their skin (via Byrdie). Others stick to pencils and draw them on for that "sun-kissed look." 

However, we're all wondering where freckles even come from and how they appear. We know that freckles come out more in the summer due to our excess time in the sun, and usually go back into hiding during the winter. But do we have freckles from the day we're born, or are they parts of us that develop over time? Also, what determines who gets freckles and who doesn't?

Where do freckles come from?

Freckles are brown skin spots that appear due to overexposure to the sun, according to Healthline. There are two different types of freckles: ephelides and solar lentigines. Ephelides are the most common type of freckles we think of, and appear more in the summer. Solar lentigines are more like darker age spots that develop as we get older. 

Freckles are actually genetic. It depends on the gene known as MC1R, which controls how much melanin you produce (via Marie Claire). If you have an inactive MC1R gene, you're more likely to have lighter skin, hair, and are prone to have more freckle developments. 

People aren't actually born with freckles. While your likelihood to get freckles is genetic, you won't actually develop freckles until you have prolonged sun exposure, Marie Claire notes. How many freckles you do develop also indicates how sensitive you are to sun and how likely it is for you to develop skin cancer. Therefore, if you're someone who gets a ton of freckles, it's best to rev up on that sunblock.