HEALTH and beauty trends come and go and many of us are likely to have tried one at some point.
But experts have now issued an urgent warning over a dangerous practice that could cause serious damage to your health.
A new trend, posted by various users on TikTok has seen people trying to 'bleach' their freckles off their skin.
People with fairer complexions are more likely to have the marks.
Sun exposure causes these dark brown spots to form on our skin as a result of over-pigmentation.
They are often harmless and in recent years, there's been a resurgence in people trying to recreate the look – with some even drawing on their own freckles.
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But trends change, and there have been a host of videos showing people using household cleaners and chemicals to remove these marks.
Skin expert Sam Cinkir said there are very few treatments to avoid freckles.
The CEO of Este Medical Group said any treatment should be handled with caution as it could cause serious damage to your skin.
“There are a few treatments available to remove freckles, such as laser technology or cryotherapy, but we’re seeing many people use social media to promote home treatments such as lemon juice, honey, sour cream and yoghurt.
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“It’s unlikely any of these home remedies will cause major damage to your skin, but they aren’t scientifically proven and any such ‘miracle cures’ you see on social media should be taken with a pinch of salt.
“The best thing to do is to speak to a qualified professional and explore treatments that are backed up by science and will be carried out by a trained expert.”
One user claimed toothpaste and Vaseline mixed together could remove the freckles, while others have praised tomato juice.
In serious cases, some users have promoted the use of household cleaners.
What are the signs of melanoma you need to know?
The most common sign of melanoma is the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole.
Most experts recommend using the simple “ABCDE” rule to look for symptoms of melanoma skin cancer, which can appear anywhere on the body.
- Asymmetrical – melanomas usually have two very different halves and are an irregular shape
- Border – melanomas usually have a notched or ragged border
- Colours – melanomas will usually be a mix of two or more colours
- Diameter – most melanomas are usually larger than 6mm in diameter
- Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma
In women, the most common specific location for melanoma skin cancers in the UK is the legs.
Men are more likely to see melanomas in their trunk – the back or torso.
All of these products can cause irritation to skin as they are not designed to be used in this way.
Chemicals in particular could cause damage, such as burns and rashes.
Sam added that freckles can go away on their own by avoiding direct sunlight.
He explained that the best cure is prevention – in the form of wearing sunscreen and appropriate clothing to block the sun’s rays.
But if a freckle begins to change size, shape or colour, it’s important to see a doctor as it could in fact be a melanoma, which is also caused by sun exposure.
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Melanoma is the most deadliest form of skin cancer in the UK and around 16,700 people are diagnosed in the UK each year.
It's the fifth most common cancer in the UK, accounting for around four per cent of all new cancer cases.
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