Pain & Hair Color - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

Pain & Hair Color

Patrick loves to get his hair done because he feels better, has a lot of self-pride but also it affects people and how they look at him - there's a lot of secondary gains to it. But it also has something to do with the color of the hair. Do you know what it is? Let me tell you.

At the University of Louisville they looked specifically at redheads and brunettes, and they found that redheads were different. When redheads go out in the sun they don't get suntanned they get sunburnt because they can't produce melanin - their receptors don't respond to it.

So they took 10 women that had red hair, 10 women who had brunette hair and they subjected them to pain. They found that the redheads experienced 20% more pain than brunettes. They believe that it was secondary to this melanocyte-melanin receptor dysfunction - this shared genetic defect. So that means if you're a redhead and you're going to need pain medication, make sure you tell your doctor because you're going to need about 20% more.

The end result? If you're really brunettes like Patrick & I you don't have to worry too much about pain medication because doctors know how to administer it - how much to give you. But if you're that redhead, a real one, make sure you tell him because he's going to have to give you 20% more.

I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.

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