Growing up, your parents probably told you that you are a unique individual and that there is no one else on the planet quite like you…
While that might be true to a certain degree, there’s a new viral Twitter thread that puts a wrench in this theory.
Turns out, we might all be more similar than we thought.
This ‘freckle on the middle of wrist’ Twitter thread is spreading like wild fire with women from all walks of life sharing pictures of an eerily similar freckle on their wrist.
ladies….. u got a freckle on the middle of ur wrist or is this a myth lmao pic.twitter.com/VpwkkeWKTj
— aaryn ✰ (@aarynwhitley) May 22, 2019
So, is this whole ‘freckle phenomenon’ thing a myth or a reality?
I never even considered that other people had a freckle on the middle of their wrist… but I absolutely have one on my left wrist.
Over 12,000 people have responded to the original Twitter post, sharing photos of their matching freckles… and the Internet is in disbelief.
Many women see the thread and think… “nope, not me,” and then they look at their wrist and turns out, they do have one!
Even people with lots of freckles on their arms and wrists notice that they have one stand-out freckle in a similar place on their wrist.
That’s when things started to get really weird…
To get to the root of the weirdness – we must ask, what causes freckles in the first place?
Freckles originate as a result of UV-B radiation activating melanocytes that increase melanin production, this is what causes freckles to darken and become more noteworthy.
Freckles are most common on the face, but they can appear anywhere on the body that is exposed to the sun – in particular places like your shoulders and arms.
It is more common for people with light colored skin and hair, as well as blue and green eyes, to develop freckles. Although, as you can tell looking through these pics, many people with darker complexions develop freckles too.
Freckles tend to darken in the summer and get lighter in the winter.
It is possible for melanin to clump together in small areas, causing dark spots or freckles. Freckles can also be caused by small portions of skin where the melanocytes produce too much melanin.
According to Dr. Oz, some babies are born with freckles, and others develop them over time.
Dermatologist Patricia Farris, MD has a different viewpoint on the situation. According to her, babies are never born with freckles, but they can develop so early in life that people don’t remember a time when they didn’t have them.
Even if you are born with a few freckles, chances are you will develop more as you age.
So, does it mean something if you are part of the ‘wrist freckle’ crew?
Instead of some mysterious phenomenon, more than likely the cause of these freckles is related to the fact it is very common to get sun exposure on your wrists.
Even if you are wearing long sleeves, they can easily roll up and expose your wrists. Or, when you are driving it is common for your wrist and hand to be exposed to sunlight.
TIME spoke with Dr. Joyce Park, a board-certified dermatologist from San Francisco, about the ‘wrist freckle craze’ and according to her:
“Freckles are basically areas of the skin where you have more pigment or melanin deposition from UV radiation. The forearms, the wrists and the hands are really common spots to get that exposure.”
Dr. Park also notes our forgetfulness when it comes to putting sunscreen on our wrists. It’s easy to remember to lather up your shoulders, cheeks and nose, but your wrists, not so much.
According to NYC dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, there’s a slightly different cause for the viral freckle sensation.
“What we are actually seeing in these photos are moles or ‘beauty marks’,” Dr. Zeichner explained. “These spots are harmless overgrowths of pigment producing cells, causing small brown spots on the skin.”
He went on to explain that these marks are incredibly common, and most people have at least one on their arms.
Therefore, in his professional opinion, it’s no shocker that so many people have one on their wrist.
Plus, sun exposure, which we’ve already discussed as very common on the wrists, will make these spots darker and more noticeable.
Sadly, some women are feeling left out of the whole thing…
Rest assured, if you’re not a part of the freckle club, I’m sure there will be something new on Twitter for you to bond over next week!