Cosmetic Surgery Today

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Researchers Warn Melanotan Tan ‘Jabs’ Are Dangerous

Posted by Cosmetic Surgery Review on February 26, 2009

While more people turn to tanning booths this season to work up a tan for spring break, some are forgoing booths and self-tanning lotions altogether in favor of a tanning injection. Melanotan, an injection made of peptides that color the skin naturally, was developed at the University of Arizona and the Arizona Cancer Center in the late ‘90s. Since then, it has undergone several testing phases around the globe, and researchers in Australia and New Zealand have shown positive results with this ‘tan jab.’

However, researchers now confirm that Melanotan is linked to a number of side effects and can actually be harmful to a person’s health. Michael Evans-Brown from Liverpool John Moores University is one of the authors of a study recently published in the BMJ. He explains that people who are getting these ‘tan jabs’ at tanning salons, hair salons and beauty spas are not only putting their health at risk from the formula, but may also contract an infection or disease if they reuse or share injecting equipment, or the injections are not sterile. Details of the study can be viewed here.

Common side effects of Melanotan include nausea, vomiting, facial flushing and long-term effects that could harm how the body reacts to the compounds over time. Currently, Melanotan I and Melanotan II are available for purchase online and at several tanning salons and even medical spas around the globe. Still, experts warn that these tanning injections may have adverse side effects, and there is not enough clinical evidence available to deem these as safe and effective.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved Melanotan and its variants for use. For now, consumers may need to stick with natural tanning options, protect themselves with sunscreen when using tanning booths and tanning in the sun, and enjoy a UV-free tan with a variety of spray tans or self-tanning lotions available.


One Response to “Researchers Warn Melanotan Tan ‘Jabs’ Are Dangerous”

  1. afamelanotide said

    The following article by Wired Magazine:
    Suntan Drug Greenlighted for Trials
    explains how Clinuvel has received authorization from the FDA to conduct human trials of their tanning drug (in implant form) for EPP sufferers.
    Also note that the researchers wanted people to understand that the risks of using drugs (primarily the much less know Melanotan II in this case) that
    have systemic effects (particularly long term usage) are little known.

    Cheers, – afamelanotide

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