Researchers Warn Melanotan Tan ‘Jabs’ Are Dangerous

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.

Further Reading

  • Motivated by his wife and kids, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once called himself “the healthiest fat guy you’ve ever seen”, disclosed Tuesday he secretly underwent Gastric Banding (Lap Band Surgery) on February 16, 2013, performed by Dr. George Fielding, head of NYU Medical Center’s Weight Management Program.

  • With bathing suit season right around the corner, plastic surgeons across the country are finding more women are booking up appointments for body contouring and breast augmentation procedures. Dr. Michael Niccole, founder and medical director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa in Newport Beach, and one of the “Top Plastic Surgeons in America”, reports that his appointment books are full, with a high demand for breast implants, skin tightening procedures and body contouring procedures to help women lose a few inches around the hips and thighs.

  • Sound Surgical Technologies, the company behind Vaser Liposelection the Vaser ultrasound device, has developed the VaserShape system, a non-surgical device that helps reduce cellulite and inches in certain areas of the body. The VaserShape device is a non-invasive body contouring system powered by ultrasonic laser. The device is designed to disrupt fat cells beneath the skin by delivering ultrasound energy deep into the skin’s tissues.