The Dread of Being a Redhead

redheaded dreadA fear of the dentist is normal. Some redheads, though, have a very good reason for the many missed dental appointments so far.

There is a popular belief that redheads have a hard time feeling the effects of anesthesia. Recent studies confirm this belief and reveal that people with red hair require a higher dosage of anesthesia.Experts found that generally, redheads don’t respond well to local pain blockers like Novocaine. Because of this, people with red hair tend to be more anxious about dental treatments. According to reports, people with red hair are twice as likely to skip dental appointments, compared to people with other hair colors.

Color Red Brings on the Dread

Experts from who offer anesthesia management services explain that redheads have a lower pain tolerance because of the mutation in the gene that affects hair color. For people with black, blond, or brown hair, the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene regulates melanin. But for redheads, the gene produces pheomelanin, a substance responsible for the red hair, pale skin and freckles. This MC1R mutation releases a hormone that makes redheads more sensitive to pain. Drugs that numb the pain are not that effective on some patients. Because of this, redheads need a higher dosage of anesthesia.

Redheads Need More Meds

Aside from the low pain tolerance, redheads are also at risk for some diseases. Studies show that they are susceptible to Parkinson’s disease, which may lead to melanoma. Women who have red hair are also at risk to endometriosis, the condition where the tissue of endometrium, grows out of the uterus. It is important for redheads to be more conscious of their health to prevent these diseases.

Being redheaded is not all dread, though. Experts say that people with red hair can fight off diseases such as rickets and lung disease. This is because their fair skin allows more sunlight into the skin, thus increasing Vitamin D production in the body. You might already know this, but just to emphasize, redheads don’t age—they don’t go grey.