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Can Freckles & Sunspots Turn Cancerous?

Learn if freckles and sunspots can become cancerous from board-certified dermatologist Ahmet Altiner in this Howcast video.


Freckles are common skin growths that happen, oftentimes on the face, in response to sun. They are brown, oftentimes multiple, small and without any texture. They are not dangerous, and they do not lead to skin cancer. They are very common in Caucasians, especially with people with blue eyes and red hair.

Some people refer to these freckles as sunspots, although it's important to note that sometimes sunspots can mean lentigos or even seborrheic keratoses. So the medical term "freckle" is a better way to understand these growths.

If you notice a freckle that looks a little bit redder, that feels rough, that is itchy or bleeding, that may mean that it's actually an actinic keratosis, a precancerous lesion. If this is the case, it's important to see a dermatologist to get an accurate diagnosis and make sure it does not lead to a skin cancer.

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