(DAILYMAIL) — Carrying the 'ginger gene' is as dangerous as 21 years of sun exposure as it raises the risk of deadly skin cancer, a new study warns.
The gene variant is associated with red hair, pale skin and freckles - and increases the number of mutations in skin cancer cells.
But while all redheads carry the gene, those with other hair colours may also carry one copy, putting them at risk too, researchers said.
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Scientist hope the finding will lead to identifying people of all hair colours that are at a higher risk of developing the disease.