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Scientists: Genes, not sun, behind redheads' increased melanoma risk

Published: Saturday, July 4 2015 6:03 a.m. MDT

Scientists have found that redheads are still susceptible to melanoma, despite being in the sun. (Shuterstock.com) Scientists have found that redheads are still susceptible to melanoma, despite being in the sun. (Shuterstock.com)

Our take: Scientists have found that redheads don't have to be in the sun anymore to be at risk for melanoma, a deadly skin disease. Scientists are hoping this discovery will help develop better sunscreens that focus on protecting more than just UV radiation. Ryan Jaslow, reporter for CBS News explains the recent findings:

Redheads have long been known to be at a higher risk for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, because their fair and sometimes freckly skin provides less natural protection against UV radiation from the sun - or so doctors had thought.

New research shows that genetic factors of the skin pigment that's predominantly found in redheads may be what's to blame for the increased melanoma risk.

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