It has been known for some time that the hormone melanotropin ensures that the skin pigment cells are producing the brown pigment melanin, which protects the skin from UV light and gives us a visible tan.
If your body produces low levels of melanin, you will have a light skin. You will get sunburn easily and hardly obtain any suntan, so you always need to protect yourself from the sun. This is genetically determined and cannot be changed. People with darker skin will tan, but they also have to make the choice between exposing themselves to direct sunlight and visiting a solarium. Both have an effect, however, both entail risks.
UV light makes the skin age prematurely and increases the chances that a person will suffer from skin cancer sooner or later. Up until now, those wanting an attractive, natural tan had to use sunscreen preparations.
Skin Protection: Has an Alternative Been Found for Sun Creams?
Whilst searching for an alternative, research was carried out on the mechanism causing our bodies to produce melanin, the following was found out: The hormone melanotropin stimulates skin pigment cells to produce the brown pigment.
Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense to take melanotropin before sunbathing, for instance, in the form of a tablet?
Meanwhile, the first results of therapy have been documented on an increase in the synthesis of melanin. Pigment cells promptly produce more melanin, if appropriate treatment is carried out. The result is that you tan much more quickly without having sunburn and that the tan and the body’s own sun protection remain for a longer time. Sun creams are no longer needed due to the protection afforded by the autologous melanin.
Doctors seeking to make this type of treatment more widely known believe that regular applications are also effective against skin aging and to a certain extent can even reduce the risk of skin cancer. Data which is hitherto available on melanotropin is encouraging. However, its use for normal consumers is still experimental. At present, melanotropin has approval for the treatment of light allergies and pigmentation disorders.
It remains to be seen whether melanotropin will, to the chagrin of the suntan lotion industry, establish itself as a rival product and become generally available to the public. For the time being, melanotropin will not be commercially available and can only be prescribed by doctors to patients in case of a medical indication after a detailed medical education.