Freckles appear as small, yellowish brown spots on the face, arms, and hands, following exposure to the sun in summer, and generally fading away almost completely in winter. However, sometimes they do not disappear in winter, and do occur on parts of the body covered by clothing. Freckles are commonly seen in red haired persons, rarely in brunettes, and never on the newborn. Their removal is accomplished by the employment of agents which cause a flaking off of the superficial layer of discolored skin, but after a few weeks the discolorations are apt to return. Large, brown spots of discoloration appearing on the face are observed more often in women, and are due to disorder of digestive organs of the sexual organs or to pregnancy; they also occur in persons afflicted with exhausting diseases. Tan, freckles, and discolorations of the skin generally are benefited by the same remedies.
Treatment. Prevention of tan and freckles is secured through nonexposure of the unprotected skin to the sun, though it is doubtful whether the end gained is worth the sacrifice, if carried so far as to the avoidance of the open air and sunlight whenever possible.
Boric acid (sixteen grains to the ounce of water) is an absolutely harmless and serviceable agent for the removal of skin pigmentations. The skin may be freely bathed with it night and morning. Corrosive sublimate is the most effective remedy, but is exceedingly poisonous if swallowed accidentally, and must be kept out of children’s way, and should not be applied over any large or raw surface of skin or on any mucous membrane. Its application is inadvisable as soon as any irritation of the skin appears from its use. The following preparation containing it is to be painted on the skin with a camel’s hair brush, night and morning:
POISONOUS SUBLIMATE SOLUTION
Corrosive sublimate 7 grains Alcohol 1 1/2 ounces Glycerin 1 1/2 ” Oil of lavender 10 drops
The following lotion is also efficacious:
Zinc oxide 30 grains Powdered starch 30 ” Kaolin 60 ” Glycerin 2 drams Rose water 2 ounces
DIRECTIONS. Shake and paint on spots, and allow the preparation to dry; wash it off before each fresh application.
It is best to use only cold water, rarely soap, on the healthy skin of the face. Warm water favors relaxation of the skin and formation of wrinkles.