Pale-skinned people are more vulnerable to migraines, study finds

In Poland, researchers observed an increased risk of migraine in those who had lightly pigmented skin.

Not everyone is equally vulnerable to migraines. And, a recent study points to an unexpected contributing factor. In Poland, researchers found that the risk of developing a migraine increased in adults with lightly pigmented skin. These findings were published online in Brain Sciences.

To reach this finding, the researchers examined the association between skin pigmentation and the frequency of occurrence of migraines in 33 men and 115 women with migraine. These data were compared with those of 107 controls (43 men and 64 women).

A risk multiplied by three

In this study, researchers observed an increased risk of migraine in those who had lightly pigmented skin. Indeed, the risk of migraine had tripled in people with a low melanin index. The clear phenotype, resulting from lightly pigmented skin, was associated with the prevalence of migraine.

Our current study shows the problem from a public health perspective, as lower UV protection suggests that migraine sufferers should pay more attention to the use of sun-blocking products. On top of that, bright light is one of many triggers – as well as aggravators – of migraine attacks, so migraine sufferers are more sensitive and vulnerable to sunlight in two different ways.“, write the authors of this study.

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