Is anyone familiar with the Redhead Phenome... - Action on Pain

Action on Pain

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Is anyone familiar with the Redhead Phenomenon?

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As a redhead with blue eyes (the avatar is not me) I've found that I'm pretty special: The rarest color combination of all for human beings, less than one percent of the worldwide population. Not only that but there are a number of physical effects caused by a mutation on the MC1R gene that gives us red hair. Both red hair and blue eyes are recessive genes so must be passed on by both parents. One problem with gingers - as we're commonly called - is extreme sensitivity to pain in general and specifically of the mouth. Many redheads do not see the dentist regularly. Anesthesiologists note that people with red hair require more drugs to knock them out and keep them under. And we are much more sensitive to thermal pain and changes in temperature. As if I didn't have enough problems? Any of my people out there?

23 Replies

I have a son and granddaughter with ginger hair. The girl has blue eyes and is extremely sensitive to pain but my son just suffers quietly.

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Hidden in reply to deejames

Can you tell me if they regularly go to the dentist? And is that a problem for them? Also do you notice if they are sensitive to small temperature changes? I can tell by a degree or two if I'm comfortable or not. That little bit does make a difference in how I dress for the day.

deejames
deejames in reply to Hidden

My son ( who is 32) is very reluctant to go to the dentist and will not be persuaded. The 8 year old gandaughter does not feel the cold at all, often in a sleeveless dress and bare legs when I have two jumpers on but can't bear hot food.

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Hidden in reply to deejames

There's another thing I forgot: Red heads tend to be more left-handed than not. How about you and your children? My brother and I were natural left-handers but my father felt that this is a right-hand world, use your right hand. We both played in Little League so had to learn how to throw right-handed. As a result we both became rather experienced ambidextrous. I never got as good right handed as left. My brother was better at it so excelled in baseball up to the high school level. I used to could throw a mean curve ball but a bad shoulder cut out throwing anything left handed now.

deejames
deejames in reply to Hidden

My son is a left hander and so is the grandaughter. The girl is fairly proficient with her right for certain tasks and my son has taught himself to use both.

Nope I have blond hair and blue eyes. However I need tonnes of anaesthesia to knock me out but then I am out forever. I like the combination of red hair and blue eyes and as you said, you don’t see many of you around. 👨🏻‍🦰👩🏼‍🦰

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Hidden in reply to Emma2017

My niece has blonde hair blue eyes but as I was visiting her the other day the way the sun was back-lighting her I did notice that her hair had a reddish tint to it. She has all the other signs of a ginger as well. Especially the dental part. Ugh!

Emma2017
Emma2017 in reply to Hidden

Poor thing with the dental ugh part. I have needed what the dentist called a horse tranquilliser to be able to work on a molar. But have always had whitish blond hair. Most redheads I know have green or grey eyes so at least you are different. 😁

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Hidden in reply to Emma2017

Does your hair turn gray or go right to white? Redheads do not turn gray, we haven't the melanin for it. When our hair loses it's pigment over time it just turns white. No other choice. Also I read that red hair is the most difficult to color. Never tried that so I do not know. Though redheads have less hair follicles than other colors our hair is thicker, thus appearing more luxurious. I personally have found most girls with red hair to be...sexier? More appealing perhaps? Eye color, green is the most common for redhead with brown close behind. I'm trying to get a petition to present to the United Nations for Endangered Species status for redheads in general. (With blue eyes in particular, but I don't think it works that way.)

Emma2017
Emma2017 in reply to Hidden

I like my Dad have virtually no hair colour change yet. I am late fifties and have a tiny part of my fringe that has gone grey white. My Dad just stayed blond till his late sixties and then he just turned white. So I may well go the same way.

I knew this lad who had very orangey red hair and he hated it when he was younger and tried to colour it but as you said the colour did not take. He was about 12 at the time and he turned up for this race and it looked as if he had grey hair but a week later it was back to red. He never tried again and just accepted his hair. Redheads are the rarest species so to say followed by blonds. But there are still plenty of them around so I don’t think you’ll get anywhere.

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Hidden in reply to Emma2017

Yeah, I've heard others say that red heads and blue eyes are going extinct. Not so. The gene responsible for both are recessive. Many people may be carriers though not met the right mate to create a red haired blue eyed child. In yee olden times people said we traded our soul to the Devil, thus the red hair. So I'm just biding my time, awaiting the rise of the Ginger Overlords!

deejames
deejames in reply to Emma2017

What an interesting thread this is turning out to be. More please

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Hidden in reply to deejames

Another gem! Redheads have the strongest natural scent of all hair colors, namely of amber and violet. This was discovered in 1886 in France. One line you might like, “Redheads famously have a distinctive civet scent, which drives many an admirer wild.” Or maybe not, "redhead’s natural sweet and musky scent can actually alter as their emotions change, making them difficult to ‘hold’ fragrances. This may explain why some perfumes smell different on redheads to others, as the amber and violet interfere with the fragrance’s notes." Further study shows that all humans have a microscopic film on their skin known as the skin mantle. Reds have a more acidic mantle than others, thus a cologne or perfume may smell differently on a redhead than on a non-red. More research is underway and I'm looking at all I can find. Something to justify my being. That I am different other than my mental state. Now how to make money with my specialness. Something else that fits: Redheads are mutants. Oh goody, I'm going to join the X-Men...oh crap, forgot the no superpowers part.

deejames
deejames in reply to Hidden

My sister who is also ginger turned a very fetching colour before turning white. I have the ginger gene although mousy haired mostly but my hair refuses to turn grey even at 70. Just two small white wings

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Hidden in reply to deejames

I like that look. Say are you allergic to bee stings? Seems that bees are attracted to redheads, probably due to our bright color being mistaken for a flower. Take your very expensive epi-pen with you.

deejames
deejames in reply to Hidden

Wasp stings barely hurt me but I have only once been stung by a bee.

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Hidden in reply to deejames

Haven't seen anything relating to our reactions to insect stings/bites. Seems like we're "simple" on that issue. I've been stung by insects only rarely (excluding mosquitoes, and even then it's not bad) and have never had an unusual reaction. I think that I have no allergies. But now that I think of it, insects are rarely a bother to me when others are being bitten by everything with wings or can crawl on them to gnaw away. My wife always said it was my odor but I thought she was being facetious. I must look into this further. Perhaps it's just something unique to me but I'd prefer to share this superpower with all gingers.

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Hidden in reply to Emma2017

While in my early 20's I had to have my wisdom teeth removed. I was still living at home and covered under my mom's insurance since I was going to college at the time. The dentist said he could do it in office or the hospital. This was before I knew about the red head and dental pain. I choose hospital outpatient. They put me under and did it all, I awoke in recovery and except for dry mouth packed with gauze all was well. But back then they gave you good stuff for pain. I'm terrified to have any dental work done now that all the "good" drugs are off the shelf. There are two teeth that have broken off at the gum-line that will require a jackhammer and cutting torch to get out. I least that's what I'm freaking out about. I will insist on hospitalization. Propofol or Versed are both excellent drugs that will knock me out and keep me under. The after I go home part is what frightens me. And I'm not taking no damn prescription for ibuprofen. It's the unknown that scares me.

I have Red hair and Blue Eyes I'm also left handed and suffered with Dental problems that resulted in all my teeth being removed on one occasion the dentist removed 8 teeth in one session while awake and numbing jags are always insufficient with me needing to request more numbing injections to allow dental work to proceed thankfully I will have new dentures in a couple of weeks as I'm only 44 and too young for going around toothless!!!

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Hidden in reply to papakebo75

You are much braver than I having so many teeth removed, in a dental office? Awake? Did he give you fentanyl to take home? Probably not...I cannot do that. The pain would be too intense. I had a periodontist ask me to leave because my screaming was scaring the patients in the waiting room. He had given me all the shots he could and if that wasn't working - it was not - he could recommend elsewhere. Now that I'm on the government's dole I'm sure within this year sometime I will have mine pulled. Right now they don't always bother me but I'm thinking get it over with. And I'm 63. You're right, 44 is too young to be toothless. How can you present a winning smile otherwise?

papakebo75
papakebo75 in reply to Hidden

I was left in excruciating pain for weeks afterwards and I was honestly shaking inside for days afterwards as for pain relief to take home for post op resulted in the dentist saying "purchase some paracetamol or ibuprofen" lol fentanyl!!! I wish, due to fibro pain and nerve damage I get prescribed tramadol by my GP but they were no use for mouth pain , The only way fentanyl is prescribed in the UK is for things like end of life care for Cancer sufferers or major trauma incidents and Dental surgeons can only prescribe things like mouthwash or antibiotics for infection in UK,and dentures is only option on NHS free treatment although for big bucks u can purchase individual screw in teeth but that's painful procedure to have also so dentures for me as its pain free !!!

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Hidden in reply to papakebo75

And that is why I haven't been to a dentist in over 30 yrs. Especially now that opiates are off the table (ibuprofen? BS!) I'm doubly terrified. I've never taken tramadol but Wiki shows it's an opiate. Don't know about over there but here opiates are now considered a "BAD" drug. I think our country's healthcare system has fallen to the extent that now barbers are once again practicing surgery. Just kidding, but that is where it started. Sort of. Here a doctor can write you a prescription and when you take it to the pharmacy to have it filled if the pharmacist, at his whim, decides that drug is not right for you he will not fill it. And that goes into a state database so all doctors, pharmacists, anyone with access will know that you exhibit "drug seeking behavior" meaning they think you're a junkie looking for a fix. As I've stated before, doctor's have failed in their duty to "First, do no harm." Dodging potential liability they play it safe and prescribe pharmaceutical ibuprofen. They harm their patients through omission. They have the ability to write a prescription, to work with you and the pharmacy to ensure that drug is the most effective treatment. But they do not; afraid of the FDA/DEA coming in for an audit. So we suffer at their lack of adequate treatment. At least the farmers in other countries can grow their own opiates.

I have a son and daughter who are both dark redheads. My son has brown eyes (which I thought was the more unusual) and my daughter has blue eyes. She seemed to have no exceptional pain at the dentist and has good teeth. In fact I would say her tolerance for pain is better than mine (brunette with brown eyes).

My mother was also a red head with blue eyes and her father as well.

Their hair colour faded as they got older, then turned a ‘salt and pepper’ colour which was lovely and then blonde before fading again to white when she was 90.

My daughter was not especially sensitive to bee stings either but both my children were told they were allergic to wheat and they were not good with milk when they were babies - they grew up on soya milk. This might have been because we lived in Hong Kong and they fed the cows there on fish meal which made the milk taste rather odd!

Beverley