In September 2007, the FDA issued a public notice advising consumers to stop using melanotan II as it was an unapproved drug with no safety or efficacy data for the advertised indications. Furthermore, the FDA issues a warning notice to a company owner that was illegally selling and marketing the product via a website. This led to subsequent indictment.
In September 2007, the FDA issued a public notice advising consumers to stop using melanotan II as it was an unapproved drug with no safety or efficacy data for the advertised indications. Furthermore, the FDA issues a warning notice to a company owner that was illegally selling and marketing the product via a website. This led to subsequent indictment.
Melanotan II tanning injections have received media attention over the past few years and have been dubbed the "barbie drug" by XXXXXX. The XXXXXX website states that all products are manufactured and compounded in pharmacies in Australia and, pending the satisfactory completion of a short medical assessment, will express post products to a nominated shipping address. The XXXXXX website also states that melanotan II is defined as a 'more potent peptide' when compared to melanotan I, offering a greater density in peptide chain with noticeable results in a shorter timeframe. There are also claims of enhancing male libido, sexual performance, curing erectile dysfunction and as an appetite suppressant.
This exciting line-up is formulated with a revolutionary tan inducing peptide Lactobacillus Ferment that works with two different types of melanin in the dermis to create a deep, yet natural and streak-free tan. Specifically, the Lactobacillus Ferment peptide simultaneously prevents the production of Pheomelanin (the melanin that gives skin a yellow/reddish tone), increases the production of Eumelanin (the melanin that gives skin a black/brown tone) and stimulates higher concentrations of visible melanin. This results in a sunless tan that is deep, natural-looking and completely unique to the individual using it AND helps to create a deeper, longer-lasting natural tan when you’ve been out in the sun.
Melanotans include melanotan I (afamelanotide) and melanotan II. Both melanotan I and II are widely abused to obtain a cosmetic tan. The melanotans are potent, non-selective melanocortin receptor agonists affecting MC1, MC3, MC4 and MC5 receptors. These receptors are responsible for many physiological systems including: pigmentation, energy, sexual function, immune system, inflammation and the cardiovascular system.

This article is authored by a PhD Candidate and her supervisory team at University of Queensland, and reflects the interests of the student’s doctoral project in undertaking the nation’s first qualitative study into experiences of Melanotan use among the general population. Dubbed ‘Project Melanotan’, the investigation aims to directly engage with ‘melanotanners’ in a non-judgemental environment, in an effort to both critically evaluate as well as understand lived experiences of melanotaning as they relate to conceptually relevant notions of risk, technology and the body.
First developed in the 1980s by researchers at the University of Arizona, Melanotan is principally used for the treatment of skin disorders including vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria that affect skin appearance and sensitivity (especially to sunlight). By promoting melanin in the skin, Melanotan can help ease the symptoms of these conditions and enable those diagnosed to live a more normal life.

Knowing how to tan safely means understanding a little more about sun exposure and how ultraviolet radiation reaches our skin. Even where we have taken the precautionary measures to protect our skin from sun damage, the sun’s UV rays may reach us or cause us to burn, when we least expect it. Factors such as where the sun is positioned in the sky, ground surface reflectivity and cloud cover are just a few variables that affect how much UV radiation our skin is exposed to. The Sun’s UV radiation also has the ability to diffuse. Interestingly, even though there may be shade, large sections in the sky that do not have cloud cover have the ability to reach your skin.
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