Study shows redheads feel less pain

We don't recommend testing this out

Being ginger isn't always easy. Even in 2012, you're likely to receive the odd hair-related jibe. Not from us though.

With their easily sunburnt skin and childhood of persecution, redheads deserve our sympathy. Or maybe not.

A new study has discovered that our auburn haired brethren are actually less sensitive to pain. Researchers from Aalborg University in Denmark experimented by injecting subjects with chilli and testing the results.

"Our tests showed that redheads are less sensitive to this particular type of pain,” Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen from the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction stated.

"They react less to pressure close to the injected area, or to a pinprick. They seem to be a bit better protected, and that is a really interesting finding."

It's actually related to something which usually plagues redheads: sunburn.

The Danish study focused on a gene called MC1R, which is responsible for producing the brown skin pigment melanin. Redheads possess a variant which doesn't produce melanin and, in turn, makes them more likely to get burnt.

This different gene could be the result of the difference in pain response as it would indicate a profound effect on the nervous system.

[via Science Nordic]

(Image: All Star)

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