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The MC1R gene provides instructions for making a protein called the melanocortin 1 receptor. This receptor plays an important role in normal pigmentation.
A medium to high impact genetic variation in this gene is associated with increased production of a pigment that leads to lighter, or fairer skin tone and increased predisposition to freckles. If you have a medium to high impact variation in this gene you may have a poorer tanning ability and have an increased risk of skin damage caused by sun exposure.