Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dying for a Tan? Try Melanotan! (not really)

The blog Stylelist has reported on the international trend of injectable tanners, which continues to grow despite having any actual research into their long term effects.

From the blog:

"Since Melanotan activates melanocytes in the skin, it has the potential to cause cancer, as melanocytes are the cells that become cancerous in malignant melanoma. In short, Melanotan may be tricking the body into thinking it's getting more sun exposure than it actually is, which is NOT a good thing.

And there are short term side effects too: They include depression, suppressed appetite, nausea, high blood pressure, facial flushing and panic attacks. But according to a recent article in The Daily Mail, despite these dire warnings women are continuing to use the drug.

"But I feel fine using these jabs. I want to look my best at parties in strappy evening dresses and these tanning jabs give me the best colour I've ever had," says Vicky. "Far from doing me any harm, in these dark, wintry days, seeing myself glowing with health has given me a fantastic boost."

Almost all people now know that wonderful tan produced by ultraviolet exposure comes with the risks of skin cancer, wrinkles and accelerated aging of the skin. Despite this, millions of people spend hours on the beach or spend hundreds to thousands of dollars at “suntan parlors” doing their very best to get ultraviolet induced wrinkles and potentially deadly melanoma skin cancers.

Those who love the color of a suntan without the ultraviolet associated risks use a variety of artificial topical bronzing agents. Over the course of the last 2 decades these substances have become easier to use and generally look quite good. But know an even easier “natural” way to produce a tan has appeared – injectable melatonin. This substance when injected into humans produces melanin , the dark, protective pigment that increases after natural sun exposure. After 10 days of injections, users enjoy a warm, golden tan.

People are buying this substance at gyms, from beauty parlors and online. Of note in the UK the drug is legal to buy, but illegal to sell. Amazingly, this substance is also being marketed as an appetite suppressant, a rosacea treatment and even a sexual stimulant. The problem is that this substance has not undergone any regulatory testing to look at its potential long term side effects.

Thanks for reading,

Dr. David J. Goldberg
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center
Skin Laser Surgery Specialists NY/NJ

Dr. Jason Pozner
Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center


  1. Nice to see a doctor relying upon a beauty blog for medical alerts!

    Hello, how about educating yourself and learning about what these peptides are really about?

    Try this for a start:

    Video about Melanotan one

    Or you know maybe follow the medical journals enumerated in citations on the Wikipedia article about the Melanotan peptides:

    That'd be a good start too.


  2. Interesting article up by Wired Magazine:

    Suntan Drug Greenlighted for Trials:

  3. Wondering if you and your readers are aware of this?

    melanotan-1 (afamelanotide / Scenesse) has been approved in Italy for sufferers of erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP). The drug induces photoprotective eumelanin pigmentation which allows these folks to have the effects of their painful photosensitivity reduced thereby permitting them to live a more ordinary life.

    Here is the news about this.

    more info:melanotan-1 Scenesse

  4. it has been approved for use, its safe... i'm using it with the help of my dermatologist, she said that it cannot cause skin cancer

  5. Explore liquidsun-europe to Melanotan, Tanning injections,Buy melanotan, Melanotan Store , Buy Tanning injections.

  6. Adverse effects seem to be minimal according to study PMID: 17934097