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What are Melanotan Tanning Injections?

What are Melanotan Tanning Injections?

Hundreds of years ago, pale skin, untouched by the sun was something that was an aspiration.  It was a sign of wealth and status. How things have changed! In many cultures across the globe, tanned skin is now what people work to achieve, despite it having no health benefits, and in fact, many health risks. They will spend untold amounts of money on tanning beds, self-tanners, and spray tans just to get that sun kissed glow.  

Another relatively newer alternative to achieving a great tan is Melanotan tanning injections. Never heard of this? That’s ok. Let’s look into what Melanotan is, how it works, it’s benefits and its risks.

There are actually 2 types of Melanotan tanning injections: Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2. These injections are a synthetic version of melanocortin, a hormone naturally produced by the pituitary gland in the body. Melanocortin accelerates the body’s process of producing melanin, which is the pigment that absorbs UV radiation and in turn colors the skin. The more melanin that a person has in their skin, the darker and more tan they will look.

Melanotan 1 was originally developed by medical researchers to treat individuals who were suffering from skin disorders that caused discoloration, as well as extreme photosensitivity. By accelerating the process of melanin production in these patients, its benefits include improved quality of life, as well giving them less discoloration and decreased sunlight sensitivity. However, by promoting potential sun protection and the effect of having darker, tanned skin, the interest in this drug quickly moved from being solely used in a medical setting to becoming an elective cosmetic lifestyle procedure.

Consumers take calculated risks when using most cosmetic drugs, and Melanotan tanning injections are no different.  In fact, in many parts of the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, neither Melanotan 1 or Melanotan 2 are approved for cosmetic use. This is despite them being widely and illegally sold online or in local gyms and health spas. However, it seems that many people find the thought of getting their glow on completely acceptable and even appealing, despite dealing with the side effects that these injections may cause.  So, your next inquiry may be, what side effects are we looking at?

Some of the most common negative side effects of Melanotan are nausea, flushing, new and darkening freckles and moles, drowsiness and loss of appetite. None of these sound terribly enjoyable to deal with. However, they have not stopped Melanotan fans from continuing their pursuit of the perfect tan with this product.  More concerning, users of Melanotan tanning injections have reported some far more serious and potentially life threatening side effects than the aforementioned ones, including: 

  • Erectile Dysfunction: There have been multiple reports of men suffering from priapism, or     prolonged erection that is not only excruciatingly painful, but can also result in a need for surgical intervention and potential loss of erectile functioning over the long term.

  • Renal Infarction: Melanotan 2 has been linked to a blockage of blood flow to the kidneys, 

resulting in Kidney failure and even potential death.

  • Melanoma: Tanning injections are shown to increase the development of moles on the body, and there have been reported cases of those moles becoming cancerous.  Research is continuing on whether Melanotan does increase your cancer risk, but there does seem to be a preliminary link.

One should not forget that there are also risks that come along with using injections of any type, such as infection, diseases transmitted through blood/body fluid contact like hepatitis, and potential nerve damage if the injection is not administered properly.

As mentioned above, Melanotan is often marketed illegally.  When you, as a consumer, purchase this product, you must keep in mind that it is not regulated. The purity and quality of what you are injecting in your body is questionable and not consistent across vendors.  There is a distinct chance that you may be injecting unsafe chemicals into your body that have known and unknown side effects.

So, the question then becomes, is using Melanotan always a horrible idea?  In the regulated and highly supervised medical setting mentioned in the beginning of this discussion, the benefits outweigh the risks for using Melanotan tanning injections in patients with skin disorders. For consumers desiring to purchase this product at their fitness center, health spa, or on the black market and self-administer and regulate its usage, the cost could be more than financial, it could be their health. 

What are Melanotan Tanning Injections?

Hundreds of years ago, pale skin, untouched by the sun was something that was an aspiration.  It was a sign of wealth and status. How things have changed! In many cultures across the globe, tanned skin is now what people work to achieve, despite it having no health benefits, and in fact, many health risks. They will spend untold amounts of money on tanning beds, self-tanners, and spray tans just to get that sun kissed glow.  

Another relatively newer alternative to achieving a great tan is Melanotan tanning injections. Never heard of this? That’s ok. Let’s look into what Melanotan is, how it works, it’s benefits and its risks.

There are actually 2 types of Melanotan tanning injections: Melanotan 1 and Melanotan 2. These injections are a synthetic version of melanocortin, a hormone naturally produced by the pituitary gland in the body. Melanocortin accelerates the body’s process of producing melanin, which is the pigment that absorbs UV radiation and in turn colors the skin. The more melanin that a person has in their skin, the darker and more tan they will look.

Melanotan 1 was originally developed by medical researchers to treat individuals who were suffering from skin disorders that caused discoloration, as well as extreme photosensitivity. By accelerating the process of melanin production in these patients, its benefits include improved quality of life, as well giving them less discoloration and decreased sunlight sensitivity. However, by promoting potential sun protection and the effect of having darker, tanned skin, the interest in this drug quickly moved from being solely used in a medical setting to becoming an elective cosmetic lifestyle procedure.

Consumers take calculated risks when using most cosmetic drugs, and Melanotan tanning injections are no different.  In fact, in many parts of the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, neither Melanotan 1 or Melanotan 2 are approved for cosmetic use. This is despite them being widely and illegally sold online or in local gyms and health spas. However, it seems that many people find the thought of getting their glow on completely acceptable and even appealing, despite dealing with the side effects that these injections may cause.  So, your next inquiry may be, what side effects are we looking at?

Some of the most common negative side effects of Melanotan are nausea, flushing, new and darkening freckles and moles, drowsiness and loss of appetite. None of these sound terribly enjoyable to deal with. However, they have not stopped Melanotan fans from continuing their pursuit of the perfect tan with this product.  More concerning, users of Melanotan tanning injections have reported some far more serious and potentially life threatening side effects than the aforementioned ones, including: 

  • Erectile Dysfunction: There have been multiple reports of men suffering from priapism, or     prolonged erection that is not only excruciatingly painful, but can also result in a need for surgical intervention and potential loss of erectile functioning over the long term.

  • Renal Infarction: Melanotan 2 has been linked to a blockage of blood flow to the kidneys, 

resulting in Kidney failure and even potential death.

  • Melanoma: Tanning injections are shown to increase the development of moles on the body, and there have been reported cases of those moles becoming cancerous.  Research is continuing on whether Melanotan does increase your cancer risk, but there does seem to be a preliminary link.

One should not forget that there are also risks that come along with using injections of any type, such as infection, diseases transmitted through blood/body fluid contact like hepatitis, and potential nerve damage if the injection is not administered properly.

As mentioned above, Melanotan is often marketed illegally.  When you, as a consumer, purchase this product, you must keep in mind that it is not regulated. The purity and quality of what you are injecting in your body is questionable and not consistent across vendors.  There is a distinct chance that you may be injecting unsafe chemicals into your body that have known and unknown side effects.

So, the question then becomes, is using Melanotan always a horrible idea?  In the regulated and highly supervised medical setting mentioned in the beginning of this discussion, the benefits outweigh the risks for using Melanotan tanning injections in patients with skin disorders. For consumers desiring to purchase this product at their fitness center, health spa, or on the black market and self-administer and regulate its usage, the cost could be more than financial, it could be their health. 

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