After 10 years of research, scientists have come up with a drug that could help people tan without exposure to the sun, potentially reducing the risk of skin cancer. The drug stimulates cells that produce the pigment that absorbs ultra-violet light, the researchers said in the US journal Cell Reports published on Tuesday. They stressed that further tests are needed to safeguard against potential side-effects in humans. Applied as a cream to the skin, the drug allowed red-haired mice to develop a deep tan. Like their pale-skinned human counterparts, the mice are particularly susceptible to the damaging effects of the sun's ultra-violet rays. The original breakthrough in mice was announced more than a decade ago, in a study published in the British journal Nature in
Tanning Pills | FDA
How to Get a Tan With Sunscreen
Summer is here, and everyone's flocking outside to soak up some sun and relish all that extra vitamin D. Some people love their freckles, while others tend to feel more self-conscious about the way they look. Melanin is what darkens and protects the skin from the damage those UV rays can cause, and melanocytes are the cells that make up melanin. In some people, melanocytes spread out evenly and look something like a tan or wash of darkening skin. The protein primarily sits on the surface of melanocytes, and it's responsible for the variations in the production of melanin. People actually have two main pigments: eumelanin, which is responsible for colors other than red, and pheomelanin, which is responsible for red and orange.
What Causes Freckles? This Is Why Some People Get Freckles While Others Don’t
In their quest for the perfect tan, some people may look for a "magic pill" that will help them achieve this with minimal exposure to ultraviolet UV radiation. There are no such pills approved for this purpose. Nevertheless, pills bearing tanning claims continue to appear on the market. Consumers should be aware of risks associated with such products, as well as doubts about their efficacy.
Having tanned skin is considered beautiful in many parts of the world. Most people tan by exposing their skin to either natural sunlight or artificial sunlight from tanning beds or sunlamps. For people with red hair and fair skin, however, acquiring a tan is very difficult. Rather than tanning, most people with red hair and fair skin simply burn. Additionally, most doctors argue that tanning is harmful to the skin, especially for those who are naturally fair-skinned.