Everyone's out for that perfect tan, but for some, being out in the sun is synonymous to redness and pain for the coming days.

Whether your skin tans or burns after sun exposure depends on your level of melanin pigmentation (shown by how dark your skin is or can get). More melanin is good: your DNA is protected from the sun's harmful UV rays and, in return, you get the summer glow worthy of envy. Tanning ability is highly variable across the population (even among people of the same ethnicity), and is about 45% heritable.

One genome-wide association study with data from close to 180,000 Europeans found 20 gene loci associated with one's ability to tan, 6 of which confirm the findings in previous literature. Interestingly, investigators note that many of the gene loci were previously reported to influence the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer (which is the most common cancer in the UK and elsewhere as well). To learn more about the study, check out the following link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29739929

Are your genes aiding you in your quest for the perfect tan, or will you more likely feel the (sun)burn? Check out Genomelink! (Regardless of your genetic predisposition, don't forget to apply sunscreen!)


Available on Genomelink

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