Skin phototype: A new perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cutaneous phototype is considered mainly related to cutaneous pigmentation and to the eumelanin/pheomelanin ratio, which is mostly genetically determined by the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) polymorphisms. However, data in literature indicate that, in addition to stimulation of eumelanin synthesis, the MC1R signalling activates antioxidant, DNA repair and survival pathways. New emerging aspects regarding photoprotection and skin phototypes are going beyond those features connected to the melanin content in the skin. Important new findings link the MC1R to nuclear receptors activation, shedding light on new extra-melanogenic effects dependent on the α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (α-MSH) activity and new ways through which such functions are modulated. These evidences indicate that several factors including melanin play a part in defining the basis for individual sun sensitivity, suggesting that the cutaneous phototype represents a 'biochemical fingerprint'.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-389
Number of pages12
JournalPigment Cell and Melanoma Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2015


  • MC1R
  • Melanocytes
  • Phototype
  • Ultraviolet radiation
  • α-melanocyte-stimulating hormone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Oncology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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