Freckles have dappled my skin for as long as I can remember, and they cover the majority of my body. I have freckles in places that have never even seen the sun. Of course, the majority of my freckles are a direct result from spending too many hours and too many summers in the sun without protection.

As a child, they speckled my shoulders and dotted my lips, scurried across the bridge of my nose. One even made its home right at the tip, making me feel a bit like Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. As I grew older, though, most of them faded with the use of cosmetics fortified with sunscreen protection.

One freckle remains prominent on my face while all others have disappeared. Even the beacon on the tip of my nose is a thing of the past. I noticed this particular freckle around the time I learned I had a thyroid disorder known as Grave’s Disease. Otherwise known as hyperthyroidism, Grave’s Disease is an auto-immune disorder affecting metabolism, the heart, and even affects the skin.

The pesky little spot on my face isn’t really a freckle at all, but something called a Melasma. It’s a hyperpigmentation that affects a large percentage of women, and is often a result of hormonal changes such as pregnancy and thyroid disorders. Sometimes the area between the eyebrows or above the lip becomes darker. Sometimes the Melasma culminates in one spot, as in my case.

Rest assured; Melasma is not a health risk, and with the right treatment and precautions, it can fade. Use a quality exfoliating cleanser and moisturizer daily. Eat foods rich in antioxidants such as fresh berries, beans, plums, and apples, and always wear sunblock and a hat when outdoors.

Following these simple steps can help reduce your Melasma, while also helping your skin to look and feel great.