The Real Reason So Many Women Have A Freckle On Their Wrist

Women: there's a lot that divides us, but also so much that unites us. Like menstrual cramps, arguing with men over the thermostat (since we're usually colder), and, going by a viral tweet, a freckle on our wrists. When Twitter userĀ @arrynwhitley asked, "ladies..... u got a freckle on the middle of ur wrist or is this a myth lmao," more than 40,000 people, mostly women, replied with photos of their wrists, all sporting matching marks. Regardless of skin color, wrist size, age, or amount of body hair, the entire female Twitterverse appeared to be "twinning" with these nearly identical freckles. How is this possible?

Actually, there's a very logical reason why we've got similar-looking spots. As Healthline reported, freckles are caused by sun exposure, and our wrists usually aren't covered by clothing that would shield us from ultraviolet rays. "A wrist is somewhere people wouldn't think to wear sunscreen," added Debra Jaliman, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist, in an interview with Health.

Women aren't the only ones who have freckles on their wrists

The Twitter frenzy of women sharing photos of their wrist freckles might lead you to believe that only those with two X chromosomes get these sunspots on their forearms, but this actually isn't true. Men get wrist freckles, too. "Freckles are basically areas of the skin where you have more pigment or melanin deposition from UV radiation," Dr. Joyce Park, a board-certified dermatologist, explained to TIME. "The forearms, the wrists, and the hands are really common spots to get that exposure. If you think about it, when you're driving, that side of your wrist and hand are just constantly being exposed to sunlight, even if you're wearing sleeves." Certainly, there are plenty of dudes driving cars and basking in the sunlight, just like their female counterparts!

The reason why not many men partook in the wrist freckle challenge was likely due to something called confirmation bias, not a lack of pigmented skin spots, according to IFL Science. Learning that many women were sharing photos of their wrists freckles might make other women more likely to believe that these spots are part of the female experience, while men might merely shrug off the significance of a freckle on their wrists.