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Why do redheads tend to sunburn more easily?

Why do redheads tend to sunburn more easily?


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Reading Marion Roach's book on redheads she mentions visiting Rees lab where he shines UV light on her skin. Apparently this is an ongoing experiment of his regarding the propensity of redheads to sunburn more easily, but the book doesn't adequately explain why.

Why do redheads sunburn more easily?


You should have a look at wikipedia > melanin.

Melanin is a broad term for a group of natural pigments found in most organisms. [… ] Melanin is an effective absorber of light; the pigment is able to dissipate over 99.9% of absorbed UV radiation.1 Because of this property, melanin is thought to protect skin cells from UVB radiation damage, reducing the risk of cancer. Furthermore, though exposure to UV radiation is associated with increased risk of malignant melanoma, a cancer of the melanocytes, studies have shown a lower incidence for skin cancer in individuals with more concentrated melanin, i.e. darker skin tone. Nonetheless, the relationship between skin pigmentation and photoprotection is still being clarified.

Most of the variation in skin color among humans is caused by differential levels of melanism. People with red hair have a low level of melanism (almost by definition) and therefore suffers more from sunburn than people with more pigmented skin.


The more important thing is that Melanin is formed through evolution due to Darwinism. If you lived in places which didn't get much sun you went whiter and sunnier places darker. Over generations of darkening the skin took on a darker pigment to protect itself by production of structures within the cell that was compatible with those energies to prevent deterioration and provide a medium to equalize the energy flow from the sun (Basically one of the many ways evolution was proved by sequencing ecoli strains and exposing them to synthetic sweeteners so that we could sequence the DNA structure during the evolution process). Basically the stronger you are and more adapted you are to the environment the more likely you will reproduce and propogate your characteristics. If you are whiter you required more Electromagnetic energy absorbtion for other processes so you gained characteristics that would enable that flow of energy.


Fiery Facts About Redheads

Are you a hot-headed redhead or a come-hither ginger? Your fiery locks are more than just a trademark — they may impact everything from your sex life to your tolerance for pain.

If you’re a natural-born redhead, you’ve probably put up with a fair share of harassment. You’ve been called carrot top countless times, you're constantly defending your freckly complexion — and if someone asks you if “the carpet matches the drapes” one more time, you’ll scream.

And now this: The world’s largest sperm bank, Cryos International, has announced that it no longer accepts donations from red-haired men — there’s simply more supply than demand, according to agency director Ole Schou. Ouch!

So we can’t help but wonder: What’s with all the ragging on redheads? Perhaps we pick on Pippi Longstockings because of the minority factor (redheads only make up about 2 to 6 percent of the U.S. population). So in honor of all the tormented Lucile Balls and Conan O’Briens out there, we’ve combed through the latest research to find out what your red locks means for your health and happiness — and some of it makes us, well, green with envy.


Introduction

Inhalational anesthetic requirements are remarkably uniform in humans, mainly being affected by age and body temperature. 1 , 2 However, some anesthesiologists share an anecdotal impression that patients with natural red hair require more anesthesia than patients with other hair colors. The phenotype of nearly all red haired individuals can be traced to distinct mutations of the melanocortin-1 receptor gene (MC1R). 3 - 5

The human MC1R is expressed on the surface of melanocytes and is a key regulator of intracellular signaling to the melanin biosynthetic pathway governing pigment formation. The red hair phenotype results from excess pheomelanin production. Production of this yellow-red pigment results from well-described mutations of the MC1R. 3 - 6 In contrast, when a normal (consensus) MC1R is expressed, the predominant pigment produced by melanocytes is eumelanin (dark brown) and the typical eumelanin to pheomelanin ratio is high.

An easily identifiable human phenotype that can be traced to a distinct genotype presents an opportunity to identify a genetic influence on anesthetic sensitivity in humans. Distinct genetic factors have been shown to contribute to anesthetic requirements in various animal species including mice, 7 nematodes (Caenorhabditis Elegans), 8 and fruit flies (Drosophila Melanogaster). 9 However, a similar association has yet to be established in humans. We, therefore, tested the hypothesis that women with natural red hair have a greater desflurane requirement than women with dark hair.


Why do redheads tend to sunburn more easily? - Biology

1. Makeup not understanding you as a human.

I could be bitter about this (I definitely am), but it’s time for a Chelsea Fagan Personal Anecdote:

Today, I went to my local makeup emporium to pick up some tinted moisturizer. As it is officially summertime, and none of us want to be weighed down by a sticky concoction of creams and powders, I felt that the light-yet-forgiving tinted lotion route was the way to go. After all, I still have my spots of redness to futilely attempt to minimize, even when my entire face is sweating off my skull. Knowing that these moisturizers tend to be fairly light as it stands, and blend in relatively well to the skin at hand, I picked the “extra light,” assuming that it would be generally the best shade for my ginger complexion.

Not so! As has happened so many times before, the makeup industry’s idea of “extra light” tends to be something close to “gently bronzed,” and not the “recently deceased sheet of paper” that so many of us are actually sporting. As I feared, even a slight application of the product left me looking like one of those unfortunate human-Cheeto hybrids whose line of demarcation along the jawline is as pronounced as the Great Wall of China.

Makeup is not made for redheads, and we just have to accept it.

2. People assuming you are kidding about your sunburns.

When you’re out with all of your friends enjoying a few summer follies on the beach or at the park, and you warn everyone that you won’t be able to sit outside for the long haul, you are never actually listened to. “Yeah, sure, we’ll go in later,” they say. “Put on some sunscreen,” they advise (lol, as if you weren’t constantly coated in a two-inch thick layer of the stuff on a constant basis from Memorial to Labor Day).

Lo and behold, seven hours later and you are still roasting in the unforgiving sun. While everyone else has had the time to add another layer to their sun-kissed Coppertone Baby look, showing off those sexy little lines where their tan has been prevented by the string of a bathing suit, you have been chasing around the one sliver of shadow you can find and hoping that you won’t literally develop skin cancer that night. It’s not until you go inside and are covered with the kind of sunburn that falls somewhere between “purple” and “my skin is sloughing off in sheets of pain,” that everyone realizes you weren’t kidding. Summer is the season of your suffering, and there is no escaping it.

3. Strange expectations about your pubes.

I once had a man tell me he was looking forward to, and I quote, “Some fiyah up top and some fiyah down below.” (This was his terrible way of pronouncing “fire,” if anyone was confused there.) One of the rights of passage as a Ginger is being asked at least once a month since the first whispers of puberty if your curtains match the carpet. Pro tip: There is no right answer to this, except perhaps screaming “THERE IS NO CARPET” as you throw hot hair-removal wax into their eyes.

4. Not being able to dye your hair.

Though there are a few brave Gingies who actually take the plunge and dye their hair, for many of us, it is simply something we have never experienced. Every day we are told to never dye our hair, told that we will never be able to recreate it if we go with even a marginally different color. And while it’s true that this is generally flattering (and certainly saves an enormous amount of money in the long run), it is all of our destiny to spend hours lovingly gazing at the girls who are able to dye their hair a wispy lavender or raven black or even loud copper with complete impunity. We want to try lavender hair, god damnit, it’s not fair.

5. Having a lot of colors that just do not work for you.

You’re out shopping with a friend and someone hands you something in a bright orange or a fluorescent anything, and they’re like, “Go ahead, try it, it would be cute!” Little do they know that these are among the many colors that immediately make a redhead look as though they are fighting some sort of food poising and cannot stop sweating as every last bit of blood drains from their face. There are colors which are simply angry at redheads for existing, and have made it their mission in this world to make us look as sallow and unfortunate as possible. The day that a lime green minidress doesn’t make me look a wobbly Ziploc bag of 2% milk is the day that I will know God truly loves redheads after all.

6. Your whole body being just as red as your hair is sometimes.

You don’t know what it means to have that ginger complexion until you are afraid of even a zesty gust of wind, because it will mean that your whole face will become a Pollack painting of red and white splotches. A particularly pleased smile? Redness. A splash of water against your cheeks? Redness. Sitting in the sun for more than 30 seconds? Redness, coupled with a sudden appearance of about 13085203985208 freckles that were previously hidden like some sort of lost Egyptian civilization. Your face is simply a blank canvas waiting to be recklessly drawn on by the everyday activities that other people can engage in with impunity.

And I know some of you are just like, “Why don’t you wear a little cover-up?” Oh, you poor, sweet thing. You really think that a little foundation or concealer — made by the hands of mortals, crafted with normal human skin in mind — is going to prevent the red splotches from triumphantly emerging all over our faces? Hah. There is no makeup that can stop the facial redness, that redness fights its way through to the surface at all costs. But it’s cute that you thought you had a solution.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino


What Is the Connection between Red Hair and Freckles?

The connection between red hair and freckles is that they are both caused by the MC1R gene. This gene is basically responsible for the production of the MC1R protein, which is involved in the distribution of hair and skin pigments. Two major pigments affect people’s hair and skin, eumelanin and pheomelanin. People with freckles and red hair have more pheomelanin than people with other hair colors and non-freckled skin. The basic reason for this is that the MC1R gene either works — in which case it changes pheomelanin into eumelanin — or it doesn’t, resulting in a build-up of pheomelanin.

Genetics is basically the study of how traits are passed down in genes from the parents to the children. Each child gets two copies of each gene, one from the mother and the other from the father. Variations in things like hair color and eye color are related to genetics and can be explained through the different versions of each gene that can be inherited from parents. Both red hair and freckles can be caused by a version of the same gene, so people with that version of the gene are more likely to develop those characteristics.

Understanding the function of the MC1R gene is important to understanding the connection between red hair and freckles. The gene essentially tells the body how to produce the MC1R protein, which is responsible for managing the pigments in skin. Pigments are different chemicals which control the color of the skin, with eumelanin and pheomelanin being the two major ones. Pheomelanin is much rarer, and most people with a working MC1R gene convert it into eumelanin, resulting in most people having hair colors other than red. If the gene doesn’t work properly, then the pheomelanin accumulates, which causes red hair and the red appearance of freckles.

Freckles are caused by an unequal distribution of melanocyte cells within the skin. Most people have spread out melanocytes, which create the pigment responsible for skin color changing when exposed to the sun. People with a spread of melanocytes tan evenly, but people with clusters of them end up with concentrated spots of different color, called freckles. The MC1R gene can also cause the melanocyte cells to be clumped together in this way. This is why people with damaged MC1R genes often get red hair and freckles.

The reason some people have red hair with no freckles or freckles with no red hair is that they receive two copies of each gene, one from the mother and one from the father. If only one gene is broken, then the person can get clumps of melanocytes but no excess pheomelanin. In cases where both are broken, the person will get red hair and freckles.


Scientists closer to understanding why red hair genes increase skin cancer risk

Research has revealed that patients with the genes for red hair have more mutations in their skin cancer than those without.

“We have known for a while that there is an association between these [genetic] variants that cause red hair and increased risk of melanoma,” said David Adams, a co-author of the research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. “What this really does is show at least a contributing factor to that is more mutations.”

Red hair, fair skin and a sensitivity to the sun are down to variations in a gene called MC1R that affects the production of pigments, called melanins, in the skin.

“People with red hair have a different type of melanin than people who don’t have red hair - and the type of melanin that redheads have is less able to protect them from the sun,” said Adams.

About 6% of the UK population have two copies of the MC1R gene variant and hence have red hair, while around 25% of the UK population have only one copy and are typically not redheads. But the new research reveals that patients in both groups show the same number of mutations in their skin cancer.

The scientists say the findings suggests people with just one copy of the gene might be more susceptible to the damaging effects of sunlight than previously thought.

Writing in the journal Nature Communications, an international team of researchers describe how they analysed existing genetic data and samples from 405 melanoma patients.

The scientists found that melanoma patients with redhead gene variants had a greater number of mutations in their skin cancer than those without, with 42% more sun-associated mutations alone.

But while previous research has shown that the chance of developing melanoma is linked to the number of copies of the redhead gene variants a person has, the new study has thrown up a puzzle.

“We don’t understand why persons with two MC1R variants are more likely to develop melanoma than those with only one variant, because our [new] data suggest they accumulate mutations at the same rate,” said Tim Bishop, co-author of the study from the University of Leeds.


Sunburn

Sunlight can help our mental outlook and help us feel healthier. For people who have arthritis, the sun's warmth can help relieve some of their physical pain. Many people also think that a suntan makes a person look young and healthy. But sunlight can be harmful to the skin, causing immediate problems as well as problems that may develop years later.

A sunburn is skin damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most sunburns cause mild pain and redness but affect only the outer layer of skin ( first-degree burn ). The red skin might hurt when you touch it. These sunburns are mild and can usually be treated at home.

Skin that is red and painful and that swells up and blisters may mean that deep skin layers and nerve endings have been damaged ( second-degree burn ). This type of sunburn is usually more painful and takes longer to heal.

Other problems that can be present along with sunburn include:

  • Heatstroke or other heat-related illnesses from too much sun exposure.
  • Allergic reactions to sun exposure, sunscreen products, or medicines.
  • Vision problems, such as burning pain, decreased vision, or partial or complete vision loss.

Long-term problems include:

  • An increased chance of having skin cancer.
  • An increase in the number of cold sores .
  • An increase in problems related to a health condition, such as lupus .
  • Cataracts , from not protecting your eyes from direct or indirect sunlight over many years. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness.
  • Skin changes, such as premature wrinkling or brown spots.

Your skin type affects how easily you become sunburned. People with white or freckled skin, blond or red hair, and blue eyes usually sunburn easily.

Although people with darker skin don't sunburn as easily, they can still get skin cancer. So it's important to use sun protection, no matter what your skin color is.

Your age also affects how your skin reacts to the sun. The skin of children younger than 6 and adults older than 60 is more sensitive to sunlight.

You may get a more severe sunburn depending on:

  • The time of day. You are more likely to get a sunburn between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are the strongest. You might think the chance of getting a sunburn on cloudy days is less, but the sun's damaging UV light can pass through clouds.
  • Whether you are near reflective surfaces, such as water, white sand, concrete, snow, and ice. All of these reflect the sun's rays and can cause sunburns.
  • The season of the year. The position of the sun on summer days can cause a more severe sunburn.
  • Altitude. It is easy to get sunburned at higher altitudes, because there is less of the earth's atmosphere to block the sunlight. UV exposure increases about 4% for every 1000 ft (305 m) gain in elevation.
  • How close you are to the equator (latitude). The closer you are to the equator, the more direct sunlight passes through the atmosphere. For example, the southern United States gets 1.5 times more sunlight than the northern United States.
  • The UV index of the day, which shows the risk of getting a sunburn that day.

Preventive measures and home treatment are usually all that is needed to prevent or treat a sunburn.

  • Protect your skin from the sun.
  • Do not stay in the sun too long.
  • Use sunscreens, and wear clothing that covers your skin.

If you have any health risks that may increase the seriousness of sun exposure, you should avoid being in the sun from 10 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.


Bad News for the Highly Intelligent

There are advantages to being smart. People who do well on standardized tests of intelligence&mdashIQ tests&mdashtend to be more successful in the classroom and the workplace. Although the reasons are not fully understood, they also tend to live longer, healthier lives, and are less likely to experience negative life events such as bankruptcy.

Now there&rsquos some bad news for people in the right tail of the IQ bell curve. In a study just published in the journal Intelligence, Pitzer College researcher Ruth Karpinski and her colleagues emailed a survey with questions about psychological and physiological disorders to members of Mensa. A &ldquohigh IQ society,&rdquo Mensa requires that its members have an IQ in the top 2 percent. For most intelligence tests, this corresponds to an IQ of about 132 or higher. (The average IQ of the general population is 100.) The survey of Mensa&rsquos highly intelligent members found that they were more likely to suffer from a range of serious disorders.

The survey covered mood disorders (depression, dysthymia and bipolar), anxiety disorders (generalized, social and obsessive-compulsive), attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. It also covered environmental allergies, asthma and autoimmune disorders. Respondents were asked to report whether they had ever been formally diagnosed with each disorder or suspected they suffered from it. With a return rate of nearly 75 percent, Karpinski and her colleagues compared the percentage of the 3,715 respondents who reported each disorder to the national average.

The biggest differences between the Mensa group and the general population were seen for mood disorders and anxiety disorders. More than a quarter (26.7 percent) of the sample reported that they had been formally diagnosed with a mood disorder, while 20 percent reported an anxiety disorder&mdashfar higher than the national averages of around 10 percent for each. The differences were smaller, but still statistically significant and practically meaningful, for most of the other disorders. The prevalence of environmental allergies was triple the national average (33 percent vs. 11 percent).

To explain their findings, Karpinski and her colleagues propose the hyper brain/hyper body theory. This theory holds that, for all of its advantages, being highly intelligent is associated with psychological and physiological &ldquooverexcitabilities,&rdquo or OEs. A concept introduced by the Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimierz Dabrowski in the 1960s, an OE is an unusually intense reaction to an environmental threat or insult. This can include anything from a startling sound to confrontation with another person.

Psychological OEs include a heighted tendency to ruminate and worry, whereas physiological OEs arise from the body&rsquos response to stress. According to the hyper brain/hyper body theory, these two types of OEs are more common in highly intelligent people and interact with each other in a &ldquovicious cycle&rdquo to cause both psychological and physiological dysfunction. For example, a highly intelligent person may overanalyze a disapproving comment made by a boss, imagining negative outcomes that simply wouldn&rsquot occur to someone less intelligent. That may trigger the body&rsquos stress response, which may make the person even more anxious.

The results of this study must be interpreted cautiously because they are correlational. Showing that a disorder is more common in a sample of people with high IQs than in the general population doesn&rsquot prove that high intelligence is the cause of the disorder. It&rsquos also possible that people who join Mensa differ from other people in ways other than just IQ. For example, people preoccupied with intellectual pursuits may spend less time than the average person on physical exercise and social interaction, both of which have been shown to have broad benefits for psychological and physical health.

All the same, Karpinski and her colleagues&rsquo findings set the stage for research that promises to shed new light on the link between intelligence and health. One possibility is that associations between intelligence and health outcomes reflect pleiotropy, which occurs when a gene influences seemingly unrelated traits. There is already some evidence to suggest that this is the case. In a 2015 study, Rosalind Arden and her colleagues concluded that the association between IQ and longevity is mostly explained by genetic factors.

From a practical standpoint, this research may ultimately lead to insights about how to improve people&rsquos psychological and physical well-being. If overexcitabilities turn out to be the mechanism underlying the IQ-health relationship, then interventions aimed at curbing these sometimes maladaptive responses may help people lead happier, healthier lives.

Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology? And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook. Gareth, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, is the series editor of Best American Infographics and can be reached at garethideas AT gmail.com or Twitter @garethideas.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

David Z. Hambrick is a professor in the department of psychology at Michigan State University. His research focuses on individual differences in cognitive ability and complex skill.

Recent Articles by David Z. Hambrick

Madeline Marquardt is an undergraduate student at MSU majoring in neuroscience and professional writing.


Sunburn

Sunlight can help our mental outlook and help us feel healthier. For people who have arthritis, the sun's warmth can help relieve some of their physical pain. Many people also think that a suntan makes a person look young and healthy. But sunlight can be harmful to the skin, causing immediate problems as well as problems that may develop years later.

A sunburn is skin damage from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Most sunburns cause mild pain and redness but affect only the outer layer of skin ( first-degree burn ). The red skin might hurt when you touch it. These sunburns are mild and can usually be treated at home.

Skin that is red and painful and that swells up and blisters may mean that deep skin layers and nerve endings have been damaged ( second-degree burn ). This type of sunburn is usually more painful and takes longer to heal.

Other problems that can be present along with sunburn include:

    or other heat-related illnesses from too much sun exposure.
  • Allergic reactions to sun exposure, sunscreen products, or medicines.
  • Vision problems, such as burning pain, decreased vision, or partial or complete vision loss.

Long-term problems include:

  • An increased chance of having skin cancer.
  • An increase in the number of cold sores .
  • An increase in problems related to a health condition, such as lupus . , from not protecting your eyes from direct or indirect sunlight over many years. Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness.
  • Skin changes, such as premature wrinkling or brown spots.

Your skin type affects how easily you become sunburned. People with fair or freckled skin, blond or red hair, and blue eyes usually sunburn easily. Your age also affects how your skin reacts to the sun. The skin of children younger than 6 and adults older than 60 is more sensitive to sunlight.

You may get a more severe sunburn depending on:

  • The time of day. You are more likely to get a sunburn between 11 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon, when the sun's rays are the strongest. You might think the chance of getting a sunburn on cloudy days is less, but the sun's damaging UV light can pass through clouds.
  • Whether you are near reflective surfaces, such as water, white sand, concrete, snow, and ice. All of these reflect the sun's rays and can cause sunburns.
  • The season of the year. The position of the sun on summer days can cause a more severe sunburn.
  • Altitude. It is easy to get sunburned at higher altitudes, because there is less of the earth's atmosphere to block the sunlight. UV exposure increases about 4% for every 300 m (1000 ft) gain in elevation.
  • How close you are to the equator (latitude). The closer you are to the equator, the more direct sunlight passes through the atmosphere.
  • The UV index of the day, which shows the risk of getting a sunburn that day.

Preventive measures and home treatment are usually all that is needed to prevent or treat a sunburn.

  • Protect your skin from the sun.
  • Do not stay in the sun too long.
  • Use sunscreens, and wear clothing that covers your skin.

If you have any health risks that may increase the seriousness of sun exposure, you should avoid being in the sun from 11 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon.


Blue Eyes

All humans originally had brown eyes, which occurred because of the large amount of pigment that gives color to the eyes. Scientists believe that blue eyes first occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, and that all people with blue eyes share a single, common ancestor.

The gene OCA2 controls melanin, the pigment that gives us our coloring. Because of the mutation of an adjacent gene, HERC2, OCA2 turned itself off, like a switch, and allowed humans&apos eyes to turn blue or, rather, disallowed the eyes to be colored by pigment.

Blue eyes were previously thought to be a recessive gene, but that theory has been proven incorrect. If one parent has blue eyes and the other has brown, the resulting children will generally, but not always, have brown eyes as they are the more dominant trait. Also, two brown-eyed parents can produce a child with an eye color other than brown, even if there are no ancestors with blue or green eyes.

OCA2 is also responsible for albinism: when it is completely turned off, people are born with no pigment in their eyes, skin or hair.

Green eyes are actually a form of brown eyes caused by the amount of melanin that is found in the iris, while Amber eyes are a result of extra yellow-colored pigment in the iris and Grey eyes are caused by deposits of collagen in the iris. Hazel eyes are caused by the amount of melanin in the iris and are affected by Rayleigh scattering, which allows the color to shift in certain lights.

Though Elizabeth Taylor&aposs beautiful eyes were considered to be violet and were one of her largest claims to fame, they were actually a shade of blue. Violet, purple and red eyes can only occur with albinism.

A fairly rare eye color condition, heterochromia iridium, allows for each eye to become a different color. This does not only occur in humans, but also in animals. Husky dogs, for example, often have two different colored eyes. This condition, usually caused by a genetic mutation, can also be inherited. The other causes of Heterochromia are disease and injury. A variation of this condition, sectoral heterochromia, causes some to have multiple colors in the same eye.


Watch the video: Ο Ήλιος (September 2022).


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