Redheads and Melanoma
I'm not going to go into the science behind the recent study published in Nature (I leave that to the doctors and researchers), but here's the take-away: If you're a redhead, you have an increased risk for melanoma even without UV exposure. It's that simple.
So what does this mean for all us ruddy, carrot tops running around with oversized hats and parasols? It means that if you're a redhead, sun protection alone isn't enough to avoid melanoma. It also means that parents with redheaded children need to start their kids early with dermatology check-ups and make it an annual routine.
Avoiding over exposure to UV rays - both indoor and out - is still crucial, but it's not the whole picture. This study proves, more than ever, the importance of yearly or bi-yearly full body skin checks. A thorough skin check can catch anything brewing and you can get it removed while it's still curable. Early detection has saved my life three times over. I protect myself with sunscreen and sun protective clothing, but it's my vigilance with check-ups that has kept me healthy. Yes, a dermatologist may become your best friend. ...It's a hell of a lot better than an oncologist. Trust me.