Experts warn that people with red hair carry “silent” gene which increases risk of sun-related skin cancer.
One in every four UK people is carrier of gene raising risk of skin cancer, the Sanger Institute team.
They say that effect of the gene if comparable to 2 decades of sun exposure in terms of cancerous changes.
People who have red hair, freckles and pale skin have two copies of gene and they should take extra care in the sun. But it does not mean that people with one copy can relax and do not have any risk.
The fourth part of UK adults have gene called MC1R. This gene increases the risk of malignant melanoma.
Though the researchers say that such carriers do not always look like “easy burners”.
People who are not red headed can also have pale skin, freckles. They are prone to sun damage as well. The natural colour of their hair can be brow or even bond, in some cases their hair have a hint of red.
More than 400 tumour samples were researched.
According to the results of the study patients with one copy of genetic variant of MC1R had 42% more mutations caused by sun in their cancers.
People who have red hair gene cannot protect themselves from UV damage.
Dr David Adams from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute who was the leader of the research said that this research showed that people should be aware of the sun. And this conclusion is related with all other people as well.
If people want to protect themselves from the sun rays they should spend more time in the shadow when It is sunny.