Is a Nice Tan Worth Risking Your Life?

   By drodriguez  Feb 15, 2012

With the promise of warmer weather approaching, many of us may already be dreaming of basking on a sunny beach. Some of us will turn to tanning salons or use the popular self-tanner to give our pasty winter skin a little glow before suiting up this bathing suit season.

What lengths would you go to in order to get the perfect tan? Fox News reports about some people in Australia who are willing to risk death for that bronze glow.

Melanotan II, an illegal injectable bronzing agent known as the “Barbie drug”, is reportedly being used by body builders, brides-to-be, actresses, and others willing to risk some serious side effects for a tan.

The drug, available online for a little over $40, carries known risks of raising blood pressure, darkening freckles, suppressing appetite, scarring, increasing libido, and nausea. Dr. Richard Kidd, member of the Australian Medical Association, warns that the still yet unknown long-term risks could prove to be fatal. Dr. Kidd explains, “People should not be messing with something that's unproven and theoretically increases the risk of skin cancers, particularly melanomas. You might end up accidentally killing yourself.”

What do you think of those who are ordering this illegal injectable tanning agent?

Do you turn to tanning salons or self-tanner for that bronze glow?

Make a Comment

Kay3131 by Kay3131 | New York, NY
Mar 05, 2012

The Red Carpet for the Oscars - seemed to be showing a trend away from the fake bake... celebrities such as Michelle Williams, Angelina Jolie's Right Leg, Rooney Mara, and many others - looked new and refreshing.

jygriebel by jygriebel | Marble, PA
Feb 28, 2012

Tanning is just a bad idea in general. I know a lot of people do it and that is certainly their right. But I really regret tanning when I was younger, it's true that you do end up with sun damage. I look much older than I am because of the sun damage and I also worry because skin cancer runs in my family.

babsywabs by babsywabs | Notre Dame, IN
Feb 23, 2012

I know that we all have different ideas of "beauty", and our self-image and self-worth are, sadly, all too often based on societal cues, but I believe we place too much emphasis on tanned skin. I had a melanoma removed from my leg two weeks ago, and I am obviously much more aware of my time spent in the sun and its effect on my health. I will have to be vigilant in checking my body for changes for the rest of my life. I have never gone to a tanning salon, but I had many bad sunburns as a child, and that is coming back to haunt me now. Fortunately, my cancer was caught in the very earliest stages, and could be "cured" by cutting out a piece of my leg. Many people are not so lucky. Bottom line - I'll keep my pale skin, thanks.

Glamamama1 by Glamamama1 | E BRUNSWICK, NJ
Feb 20, 2012

No, I work closely with melanoma patients. One of the primary causes of skyrocketing rates of melanoma and other skin cancers is from sun worshipping and that includes those tanning beds. Tanning parlors are completely unregulated by the government or any other organization. Who knows how strong the level of UVA or UVB radiation you are getting from your suntanning bed? The storefronts are making a ton of money and they couldn't care less! You are baking your skin, speeding up formation of wrinkles and upping your chances for skin cancers. Skin cancer used to be something you heard you grandma got when she was in her 70's. We are seeing so many ladies and men in their 20's, 30's and 40's coming in with cancers of the skin. Up until a year ago there weren't many options for treating melanomas. There are a few new treatments that are promising but they don't work for everyone. Your best bet is a good sunscreen 30+ and a cute hat.

Hiiyooitscat by Hiiyooitscat | LOS ANGELES, CA
Feb 16, 2012

That is crazy. This is the first time i have heard of this method. I would never do that. I don't even go to tanning salons or use a spray on tanner. I actually have fair skin and i love it. I dont like my skin tan at all. So i know that people actually do this is insane.

Fawn77 by Fawn77 | TIPP CITY, OH
Feb 15, 2012

WoW! i have never heard about this but why oh why would someone want to do this to their self. Thats just completely crazy

ManalSalem by ManalSalem | CORDOVA, TN
Feb 15, 2012

I have never went to a tanning salon. I would like to try it out though as silly as that sounds. I don't think it's safe to be injecting a tanning agent though! That sounds too extreme!