What would you do if someone were to promise you a 10mg bottle worth of perfect tan? Would you go for it, regardless the risks, or would you be wary of such people? As time passes more people, especially bodybuilders are tempted to try appearance enhancing drugs to look leaner or more toned. One of such substances is melanotan, a synthetic hormone meant to provide the buyer with a golden tan all year round.
How melanotan works
Melanotan is an injectable drug designed to stimulate the production of melanin responsible with skin pigmentation. Once introduced in our body, in the subcutaneous fat layer of the belly to be more precise, melanotan mimics the behavior of our own hormones, creating the same environment as if we were exposed to UV light, but without the light.
Several side effects have been spotted due to melanotan use, such as nausea, headaches and dizziness. Among the side effects that represent a concern for dermatologists are facial flushing which implies a severe allergic reaction and the darkening as well as multiplication of moles and freckles. These side effects that affect the skin are considered normal because if moles and freckles are accumulations of melanocytes (specialized cells found in our skin responsible for melanin secretion), it’s logical that they would change color first in case the human body were to release even more melanin.
Concerns regarding our health state
Many doctors are increasingly alarmed about the side effects of melanotan. Concern is especially focused on the multiplication of moles and freckles. Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer which spreads due to the mutation of melanocytes found in the darker areas of the skin such as moles and freckles. Hence, people with a higher number of moles are more susceptible of getting skin cancer. Now, it is known that the number of moles is determined by genetics and for that reason, the drug’s ability to increase moles and freckles raises some serious questions.
Melanotan was developed to help those with sensitive skin to endure sunlight better. However, there have been people diagnosed with cancer that tried melanotan, with poor results. Some were even hospitalized due to severe allergic reactions and described their experience as a continuous sickness. Still, due to the lack of clinical research, no one can tell for sure whether those reactions were caused by melanotan, or if the cause was different.
Still, melanotan is illegal to sell in most countries, but not illegal to purchase over the internet. Despite medical warnings, this synthetic hormone is more and more popular, as people are sometimes too desperate to achieve the look of their dreams. And they would not stop at anything until they reach their goal, even if it costs them their health.
Most doctors advise people to refrain from using unlicensed drugs as they can pose serious health risks. And since no one would be able to evaluate the gravity of the situation, it might be for the best if melanotan and similar drugs were banned and people buying them were panelized for purchasing.