Friday, July 31, 2009

Ginger Pains

People with red hair are twice as likely to avoid going to the dentist as people with darker hair. This isn't necessarily because dentists are known to hate gingers and jab mercilessly at their gums with little metal hooks. As unlikely as it sounds, redheads are more sensitive to pain than normal people, which may make them more anxious about the normal pokes and jabs at a checkup. They're so sensitive, researchers found, that standard doses of anesthetic don't seem to work on them, needing 20% more goof juice to get the same numbing effect as others. Scientists think the mutated gene that gives redheads their preternaturally gorgeous hair color and heart-meltingly adorable freckles, the MC1R gene, also somehow affects pain receptors, though they don't know why. Personally, I have no sympathy. A little pain sensitivity is a small price to pay for being one of the chosen few who are more beautiful than all others. I have a thing for redheads, obviously. More details here.