Freckles

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T-19

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Spotty cell reception
In people with freckles, some skin cells respond to sun exposure by making more pigment, while other cells apparently don't get the message. What your genes should say about it?

Why do some people get freckles?
Most of your skin cells don't make their own pigment. Specialized skin cells called melanocytes manufacture little bags of pigment and hand them out to other skin cells. Pigment production gets ramped up in response to sunshine. If pigment is produced evenly across your skin, you end up with a tan — but if more pigment is produced in some areas than others, you get freckles. Scientists still aren't sure what causes skin cells to behave differently when they're located in freckles versus the paler areas between freckles.

Genetics
We probably don't have to tell you freckles are more common in people with lighter skin and hair. These traits share some, but not all, of their genetics in common. Research found 34 genetic markers associated with the likelihood of having freckles. Many of these markers are near genes we already know play a role in skin pigmentation, eye color, and/or hair color, like SLC45A2, OCA2, HERC2, and TYR.

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