Redheads More Prone to Skin Cancer - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Redheads More Prone to Skin Cancer

Redheads are at increased risk of skin cancer even if they DON'T spend time in the sun.

Scientists say the production of red hair pigment causes an increased risk of melanoma. 

Until now it was believed that people with red hair were more prone to skin cancer simply because of their fair skin.  But now experts say there is more to it.

According to Medical Daily, there are two theories as to why red pigment causes a vulnerability to skin cancer.  Scientists say that cells make two different pigments - dark brown eumelanin and red/orange pheomelanin.

The theory is that the production of pheomelanin - as seen in people with red hair - is linked to oxidative stress and that this could cause cancer cells to develop.

They say pheomelanin creation could use up skin cells' antioxidant stores, which would increase cancer risk.

Either way, researchers say redheads should take extra care in the sun.

Redheads should get body checks more often...even if there isn't a family history of skin cancer.  Most people get checked once per year.  But if there is a family history, a redhead may need to get checked once every three months.

 

 

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