A team of researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital have invented a new “suntan” drug. Thanks to it, the scientists managed to darken the skin without exposing it to UV light. The team will be looking to further study the possible effects of their new creation.
They are hoping that such a variant will one day help protect our health by acting as a prevention method against skin cancer. The researchers also consider that it could possibly slow down the appearance of aging.
Sun tanning is actually quite a detrimental process as the UV light actually damages the skin as it confers it a tanner look. Still, this same process also encourages the production of dark melanin, named by some “the body’s natural sunblock”.
The new suntan drug was applied and rubbed into the skin of mice and also skin samples in the lab. This helped kick-start the production process of dark melanin. But all without having to exposure the skin to the damages brought on by UV light.
Suntan Drug Tricks the Skin Into Tanning Without Sun
According to the team, this drug “tricks the skin” into producing the brown variant of the pigment. Evidence also suggest that such a product would also work on those with very fair skin. In most cases, these get burned instead of browning after exposing themselves to the sun.
One of the researchers, Dr. David Fisher, also stated in an interview that the suntan drug has a “potent darkening effect”.
“Under the microscope, it’s the real melanin, it really is activating the production of pigment in a UV-independent fashion,” added Dr. Fisher.
The browning effects of the drug are very different from any other such variant currently used for cosmetic reasons. So the researchers are looking to further analyze their suntan solution’s medical effects.
There are calling this a “novel strategy” for protecting the skin against skin cancer and UV radiation. Lab tests have shown that the drug produced melanin was successful in blocking out harmful UV. A darker pigmented skin was also noted to present a lower risk of skin cancer.
Scientists are hoping that a combination of this suntan drug and sun cream will come to offer the maximum protection against solar radiation and its damages.
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