All over tropical vacation spots, redheads are applying their one hundred sunblock, though this is true, scientists have researched why redheads burn easily and it is all because of their genetic makeup. Vacationing is meant for enjoyment and good memories, but due to natural redheads, it is a little more difficult. When advocating about this topic, it is important to understand the genetic makeup and ways to prevent harsh burns.
Each and everyone’s body wants to protect itself from any harmful factors that people encounter on a day to day basis and the UV sun rays are one of them. What the body does to protect from the sun is producing eumelanin. The process of eumelanin when the sun hits the body is to turn the skin darker in an attempt to defend it from harmful factors (Ginger Parrot). Having the capability to perform this defense mechanism is what reduces sunburn on others skins, except for redheads. With that being said, researchers have proved that redheads have “low eumelanin and high pheomelanin,” indicating that redheads do not have the same protection as other natural hair colors (Ginger Parrot). Having this disadvantage creates more difficult tasks they will have to face on a warm climate vacation. The website Sunsense wrote an article that states; “scientists have found that people with the gene for red hair are less able to protect themselves against the sun’s UV rays…. Showing additional sun damage equivalent to spending an extra twenty-one years in the sun compared to people with the gene,” demonstrating how harshly an impact this mutation has on a person’s skin and health. By simply having a more rare hair color than others, it causes extravagant consequences to the skin. This vital information has informed many redheads across the world to know why they are burning quicker than others and how it can truly impact their quality of life.
Using this information about the low eumelanin in the body, steps can be done to easily reduce the amount of burn a red haired person could obtain. Choosing sunscreen, covering up, reapplication, and shade are all examples of steps towards successfully lowering the probability of getting burnt. Choosing the right sunscreen is vital to each redhead, and the two factors that make up a good sunscreen are “an appropriately high sun protection factor” and “it provides broad spectrum cover,” explaining that without these factors, the sunblock will not be protective (Sunsense). The sun will always find a way to burn a redhead, so if sunscreen is applied regularly and abundantly, it is more likely to not get burned or obtain a skin problem in the future. According to the Skin Care foundation; “We [redheads] are more than one and a half times as likely to develop basal cell carcinomas, the most common form of skin cancer,” acknowledging the extreme effects the mutation has on individuals with red hair. Having the slightest difference in DNA make up or anything in the body causes a whirlwind of dangerous possibilities. Different forms of skin cancer or other diseases are harmful and easily contractible to people with this mutation. Knowing how to prevent a sunburn is very important, especially to a redhead due to all the harmful effects the sun can cause if the skin is not cared for.
Genetics are different in every human and create unique qualities in them. Learning about what is going on in our bodies can lead us to want to know more to get rid of any possible preventable diseases in the future. Redheads have a genetic mutation that does cause them to be susceptible to sunburn faster than brunettes because of the amount of eumelanin in their bodies. Though this is proved, there are ways to still enjoy outdoor adventures, just with extra steps. As said before, warm climate vacations are all about enjoying the nice weather with ones each person cares about, but one must always stay protected from the sun no matter what hair color they may have.
GingerParrot. “Why Do Redheads (and Other People) Sunburn so Easily?” Ginger Parrot, 4 June 2021, https://gingerparrot.co.uk/2021/06/why-do-redheads- and-other-people-sunburn-so-easily/.
Wpadmin. “A Guide to Sun Protection for Redheads.” SunSense, 20 Mar. 2018, www.sunsense.co.uk/a-guide-to-sun-protection-for-redheads.
“Red Alert!” The Skin Cancer Foundation, 1 Aug. 2019, https://www.skincancer.org/blog/red-alert/.