Difference Between Freckles and Moles

22 May 2017 | Category: Medical

Sun Awareness Week Feature

‘What is the difference between a freckle and a mole? What you need to look out for’

cosmedics dr ross perryWebsite looked at the difference between freckles and moles for Sun Awareness Week 2017 and invited Cosmedics Skin Clinics’ founder Dr Ross Perry to give his expert advice. 

What is a Freckle?

Dr Ross Perry explains:

“They are small flat brown marks arising on the face and other sun exposed areas.

“They are most often seen in fair skinned people, especially those with red hair, but they are an inherited characteristic that sometimes affects darker skin types as well.

“The medical term for this type of freckle is ephilis, plural ephilides.”

What are Moles?

Moles are a type of pigmented lesion, just like freckles, but there are some key differences. Moles tend to be larger, darker in colour and are often raised rather than flat. They also tend to be less numerous than freckles.

Dr Perry says:

“Moles occur when cells in the skin grow in a cluster instead of being spread throughout the skin. These cells are called melanocytes, and they make the pigment that gives skin its natural colour.

“Moles may darken after exposure to the sun, during the teen years, and during pregnancy.”

What to Look For

Freckles are not considered potentially harmful and the vast majority of moles are also harmless. However, on occasion, moles can be very dangerous indeed. Brits are encouraged to keep an eye on any worrying moles – or freckles – and get a checkup with a GP if there are any concerns. This could include unusual shape/colour of the lesion, any noticeable changes, or behaviours such as itching, discharge or bleeding.

Dr Ross Perry concludes:

“Your doctor can either reassure you it is nothing to worry about or if they feel it may be suspicious then they would refer you to a skin specialist at the hospital to see if it needs removing so it can be tested to see if the cells in the mole are worrying or not.”

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Find the article in full at:

doctor ross perryDr Ross Perry

Dr Ross Perry regularly provides expert comment and advises the media on a range of skincare and health-related issues.

He also regularly provides media comment on cosmetic injections such as Botox and Dermal fillers. He has particular expertise in mole removal, sun damage and melanoma; having removed thousands of moles in his career, both within the NHS and privately through Cosmedics Skin Clinics.


Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003 and has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical treatments, carried out by GMC Registered Doctors.  The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers; plus medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has a team of skin treatment doctors and surgeons in their 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol led by Dr Ross Perry.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email to book an appointment.

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