Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Redheads Feel Pain Differently Than the Rest of Us 265

schwit1 writes "If you think redheads are inherently different, well, you'd be right; they're better than you. In fact, they have a higher pain threshold than most of us, and can handle spicier food, too. It turns out that gingers are less sensitive to stinging pain in the skin, according to researchers who injected capsicum, the active ingredient in chilies, into the arms of patients. Professor Lars Arendt-Nielsen, one of the researchers, said, '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.' The finding also means redheads can handle spicier food, reports Science Nordic. It lends some scientific weight to previous suggestions that gingers have a different pain response to the rest of, which were even investigated by MythBusters."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Redheads Feel Pain Differently Than the Rest of Us

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Eureka (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) * on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @12:33AM (#39257533)

    ... they seem to almost enjoy the pain

    Since when did a bit of Capsaicin hurt? See it's not pain to us.

    This is a bit disappointing, I always thought my ability to deal with pain was a personal strength, turns out to be my hair?!

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @12:38AM (#39257577)

    Are they testing someone in the same genetic pool that isn't a ginger? Because different ethnic groups are going to be conditioned to respond to and express things differently.

    Personally, I have brown hair and a very high pain threshold. Everyone in my family is the same way and none of us are gingers. I further don't think it's genetic in our cases. We have an ingrained and conditioned intolerance to whining in ourselves and others. It's just a family thing. We don't express it and we don't respond to it.

    So to take this seriously, I'd need to know they were doing an apples to apples comparison to remove cultural and ethnic distinctions.

  • by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) * on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @12:58AM (#39257747)

    This isn't saying it doesn't hurt. It's saying that for people without your hair genes, it hurts even more.

    Well it's saying that for people with our genes as a population it hurts less. Of course I (and OP) would have to borrow a blonde body for a while to be sure on an individual level, but it's apparent to me that I deal with pain better most people I know. I'd always put it down to stoicism though, but perhaps I am actually feeling less pain.

  • by MisterSquid ( 231834 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @01:53AM (#39258127)

    Red-haired women (FTA notes most studies have been conducted on female mice and female women) have a resistance to capsaicin. Compared to whom? Blonde-haired white people? Brown-haired white people?

    How about Koreans, NONE of whom have genetcially-derived red hair? Or Latinos? Or Vietnamese? One could to this all day.

  • The fifth golden girl was a female communist cosmonaut from the USSR :)

  • by Ginger_Chris ( 1068390 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @02:33AM (#39258337)

    Reduction in skin pain seems very useful when you're at a much higher risk of sun burn.

  • Re:Not just redheads (Score:5, Interesting)

    by petsounds ( 593538 ) on Tuesday March 06, 2012 @03:45AM (#39258725)

    I had fire engine red hair when I was little, but it's more brownish-red now. The last cavity I had, the dentist had to give me three shots of local in my gums to numb the area. Not real pleasant. When I was around 10 I had a cyst in my jaw that had to be surgically removed, which they put me under for in the hospital. I had no problem going under, but woke up in a hallway next to several passed-out people on gurneys. As you can imagine, I was a bit disconcerted by this. A nurse finally walked by and looked over in surprise, "You're not supposed to be awake yet!" No, I guess not. Now at least I have an explanation...

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson