Difference Between Moles and Freckles

Nearly every individual on earth has some spots on his face, arms, legs, and the rest of the body. Moles and freckles are two of the common types of such spots and are found more frequently on fair skinned people than dark skinned people. These are the result of melanin, the substance responsible for giving skin its color. Our body contains cells called melanocyte that produce melanin, the pigment that is found in all human beings. Those having more melanin producing cells are dark skinned while those who have lesser of this pigment are fair skinned. Freckles and moles are spots/growths that are found on the skin where more of melanin is released by the body.


Spots on the body especially face and arms that are more common in fair skinned people and those having red hair are called freckles. When there is an increase in the pigment called melanin on the basal layer of epidermis, freckles are seen on skin. What is interesting is that babies do not have these freckles but develop them on their bodies with constant exposure to sun. This is why freckles appear more on face (nose) and arms that are more exposed to sun than other parts of the body that remain covered by clothes. Freckles are benign in nature and pose no health hazard. As such there is no need to get them removed. Fair skinned people suffer from freckles more than dark skinned people and it is generally believed that heredity plays a role in deciding why some people are more prone to these spots than others.


Moles are growths found on skin that are a result of increased melanin by a cluster of melanocyte cells on the outer layer of epidermis. In sharp contrast to freckles, they are seen even in babies’ ands they become large and darker with age. Moles can vary in color from light brown to black and also in size. It is seen that moles become dark in shade because of exposure to sun. Moles are usually harmless and do not require surgical removal though some people desire to get rid of facial moles for cosmetic reasons. However, some moles are carcinogenic and may lead to cancer later on thus necessitating their removal. If you observe changes in your moles that pertain to their color, shape or size, it is better to consult a dermatologist. Sometimes moles may become painful. Even then you must consult your doctor.

In brief:

Moles vs Freckles

• Moles and freckles are common skin lesions

• Moles are growths and freckles are spots on skin that result from increased pigmentation through cells known as melanocyte.

• While freckles are not seen in babies, moles are by birth and develop later also.

• Freckles appear more on face and arms that are more exposed to sun

• Moles are found all over the body and grow prominent with age.

• Freckles are believed to be a result of genetics while moles are a result of cluster of melanocyte.

• While most of the freckles and moles are benign, some moles may be carcinogenic and require surgical removal.