Black People and Freckles

The darkness or lightness of your skin as well as your tendency to have freckles depends on different genes. It is for this reason that not only very pale people have freckles but very dark-skinned people can sometimes have them too. It is worth mentioning that the freckle gene is actually worldwide, and you can find heavily freckled people in South India, Japan, Africa, Russia, South America, and other parts of the world too. Still, many people ask if it is possible for black people to have freckles.

Can Black People Have Freckles?

Yes, they can. Most believe that freckles are basically a Caucasian people skin condition, but black people freckles are common too.It usually has something to do with the type of skin tone you have. Black people actually come in different skin tones. Depending on their skin tone type, they can get freckles when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. The interesting thing is that black people has more than 100 skin tones – it is possible to divide these skin tones in different types, from type I to type V. The first type is more prone to freckles and tanning, and it is quite the same for type II, III, and IV. These skin types are however relatively fairer as compared to the type V, which is the darkest of the lot and is more common in black people from Africa.

Here is more to help you understand that "black people freckles" is a reality.

Are All Freckles the Same?

No, you can divide them into two basic categories: simple freckles and sunburn freckles. Simple freckles are no larger than the size of a nail head and are usually round and tan. Sunburn freckles have asymmetrical borders with darker color and size larger than a pencil eraser. You are more likely to develop sunburn freckles on your shoulders and upper back. Here is more about the kinds of freckles:


It is a medical term used for freckle, usually refers to flat spots that are slightly reddish but tan, which appears in the sunny months. People with light complexions are more likely to develop these – they can be genetic as well. If you have green eyes and reddish hair, you are more likely to develop these types of freckles. You may help prevent and reduce the effect of these freckles by taking steps to limit your exposure to sun.


They refer to certain types of sunburn freckles, which are usually darker in color. These freckles may not fade in the winter. Also referred to as lentigo simplex, these types of freckles may sometimes indicate a rare genetic syndrome. They are usually unimportant and isolated spots.

Why Do Some People Have Freckles?

Melanin, a pigment protein, is responsible for freckles. Your freckles are nothing but concentrated flecks of melanin, which show up when UV rays hit your skin. Melanin actually tries to protect your skin from damaging UV rays and darken your skin as a way of protection. Black people freckles do happen because this pigment protein is also found in their genes.

Melanocytes are the type of cells which produce melanin. Some people have evenly spread out melanocytes, so their skin develops a smooth wash of melanin when exposed to the sun – this leads to the development of a tan. When melanocytes are bunched up, prolonged exposure to UV rays may result in freckles.

Redheads are more likely to develop freckles because the presence of MCIR gene, which is responsible for both red hair and freckles. The gene basically controls pigment balance in your skin and hair. When it works normally, it converts pigment into eumelanin, which makes you have brown and black hair and skin colors. Sometimes, the gene is broken and produces a rare pigment called pheomelanin, which causes reddish hair and freckles.

MCIR is definitely a gene that causes freckles, but it is not the only one, as scientists have identified a gene responsible for causing freckles in Chinese populations. What it means is that having freckles has something to do with genetics. If your parents have freckles, you are more likely to have them. However, you do not need to worry about them because they rarely cause any health issues.

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