Redheads are more sensitive to pain, study reveals

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

Us gingers are accused of many things: being short-tempered, fiery-natured, even soulless. Now a study has discovered that we are actually genetically more sensitive to pain.

A series of studies were carried out at the University of Louisville in the USA involving groups of redheads and brunettes being exposed to various forms of pain to test their tolerance levels. Tests included applying ultra-cold thermodes (which are basically metal bars applied to the skin whose temperature can be controlled electronically) to subjects’ arms, and clamping electrodes to their fingers to test electric shock tolerance. For the latter test, anaesthetic was administered in gradual doses to establish how much would be needed for the pain to go away.

The results? Gingers felt the cold at a higher temperature than brunettes (around 6C compared to 0C), and required more anaesthetic for the pain caused by the cold thermodes to disappear. In other words, redheads are more likely to feel chilly when everybody else is fine, and knocking a ginger unconscious is harder to do. We also bruise more easily than everybody else.

Make of those conclusions what you will, but we will be showing these findings to all our non-ginger friends as a reminder to be nice to us at all times.

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