In many cultures, it is perceived as attractive to have tanned or darker coloured skin. In the past 12-months, 16% of Brits have used some form of false tan; in the US, an estimated 10 million people regularly use different tanning methods.
However, as consumers, we are becoming increasingly aware of the dangers associated with sunbed tanning and are opting for other solutions deemed to be safer.
Here is where tanning injections come into play.
What are Tanning Injections?
Tanning injections mimic a hormone in the body that results in the skin producing a pigment called Melanin. These injections come in two forms: Melanotan I and Melanotan II, which are diluted into water before being pulled into a syringe and injected into the skin.
The synthetic hormone stimulates the pigment cells, which causes them to produce a larger amount of Melanin, which gives the skin a darker colour when exposed to sunlight. The effects can last for around two months, with the natural hormone balance returning in approximately six months.
Although there is a lot of controversy over this tanning method, and it is illegal to buy in many countries, demand has been rising for Melanotan II in recent years, specifically in Ireland, Scotland, and the North of England.
Benefits of Tanning Injections
Tanning injections can be a more straightforward, cost-effective, and longest-lasting way of getting a false tan, which is why their appeal is so great. The tan doesn’t wash off; it is even across the body and lasts for around 8-weeks.
It is cheaper to buy than sunbed courses or self-tanning products off the shelves, and many consumers consider it as much a part of their cosmetic maintenance as visiting the hairdresser. You can source tanning injections online, have them delivered to your door, and expect a bronzed skin tone just a few days after.
There is no waste, mess, or risk of uneven patches with tanning injections, and the tan will hold up to showers, rainfalls, and white linens.
Dangers of Tanning Injections
This is an unregulated field.
Tanning injections are illegal in the UK and the US, although easy to get hold of through a quick internet search. There isn’t a governing health organization monitoring these online retailers, so there is a high risk of the products containing impurities.
One study found the use of Melanotan II resulted in systemic toxicity, Rhabdomyolysis, and Renal Dysfunction.
Side Effects of Tanning Injections
Without proper regulation, there can be no guarantee that the tanning injections you see for sale have been accurately labelled. In addition to this, the long-term effects of using Melanotan I and II are largely unknown.
Currently, we know that some tanning injection users have experienced a range of common side effects, including:
- Loss of Appetite
- Dizzy Spells
- Erection Problems
Tanned skin is considered attractive in many Western cultures. However, most methods of obtaining darker coloured skin offer no health benefits and can lead to unpleasant side effects or life-threatening conditions in some cases.