Study: Redheads Feel Pain Differently

Redheads! They’re so different! So special, so rare! And the same recessive genes that give them their ginger locks also cause them to feel pain in a different way than the rest of us. A study done at Aalborg University in Denmark found that while redheads are better able to handle spicier foods, their bodies are less adept at handling a variety of other sensory experiences, such as extreme cold and dental pain. Annnnnnd gingers are also more inclined to have problems such as endometriosis and sclerosis.

But the good news?

They can handle stinging feelings on the skin better than anyone, says Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen, of the Aalborg University Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction. “Our tests showed that redheads are less sensitive to this particular type of pain. 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,” he said.

One possible reason for the variety of health-related sensitivities redheads suffer: There’s a specific redhead gene related to pain. Another potential cause: Redheads tend to stay out of the sun, which means they get less Vitamin D.

So, got that redheads? Spicy foods are a yes, cold weather is a no. [Science Nordic]