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Redheads Have Greater Risk of Melanoma

Posted on 28 July 2016

Redheads Greater Melanoma Risk

New Report show the genetics behind redheads and fair skinned individuals greater melanoma risk

Redheads and Melanoma

According to researchers from the United Kingdom in a report released July 2016, gene variants that are found in people with red hair, fair skin, and freckles are linked to a higher number of genetic mutations (a permanent alteration that differs from what is found in most people) in skin cancers.

And that wasn’t the only troublesome finding: These investigators also stated that having this certain type of DNA is comparable to spending an average of an extra 21 years in the sun.

Ouch.

THE SCIENCE

Redhead melamona genetics

This data, which was published in this report July 2016, further explained that a single copy of this gene — melanocortin 1 receptor, or MC1R — increases the number of mutations in melanoma, which numerous non-red-headed people possess. In short, just about everyone needs to be concerned about sun exposure and skin cancer.

Skin Cancer is the most common of all cancers, and the rates of melanoma have been rising for the last 30 years, according to the American Cancer Society.

red hair skin cancer

“It has been known that a person with red hair has an increased likelihood of developing skin cancer, but this is the first time that the gene has been proven to be associated with skin cancers with more mutations,” said Dr. Carlos Gomez-Meade, dermatologist and skin cancer specialist.

Along with redheads, Dr. Gomez-Meade adds that individuals who need to be the most diligent about sun protection include those people “with fair skin, people who never tan and easily burn, people with blue or green eyes, and/or those who have freckles that tend to be more orange than brown.”

PREVENTION

sun protection

So aside from freaking out, how are people supposed to respond to this latest information? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” states Dr Gomez-Meade. Since exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is the leading cause of melanoma, he strongly advises to avoid these harmful rays as much as possible. Sunscreen, umbrellas, wide brim hats, and staying out of the sun from 10am-2pm help. The most effective and convenient form of sun protection is sun protective clothing with a UPF 50+ factor. Little Leaves wardrobe staples block 98% of UV rays, and you don’t have to worry about sun exposure for every member of your family.

Shop Little Leaves Sun Protective Clothing for the entire family

SOURCES:
https://www.yahoo.com/beauty/tell-us-something-new-redheads-have-higher-risk-150935362.html
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160712/ncomms12064/full/ncomms12064.html
http://www.cancer.org/cancer/skincancer-melanoma/detailedguide/melanoma-skin-cancer-key-statistics

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