Inspired by the lack of advances in the field of skin cancer, a group of American scientists have recently developed a new drug that provokes the same sun-kissed effects that UV rays has on our skin but creates a tan without the damaging effects of the sun.
Tests have been conducted both on human skin as well as mice and it appears that when ingesting the drug, skin will successfully develop the pigment melanin that produces darkening of the skin.
The experimental drug was developed at Massachusetts General Hospital and they have evidence that the darkening effect of the skin could even work on red-heads – many of which will never be able to boast a holiday tan because of their tendency to burn.
While for many this new drug could be a vital beauty enhancer, not only to reduce aging caused by the sun and the tan itself; medical professionals believe that it could help prevent the development of skin cancer due to the abuse of UV rays.
Although a tan is usually associated to bringing back one of the best souvenirs from our holidays, the process of getting a brown glow is actually more sinister than many of us know. UV light creates a tan but only after causing damage to the skin that begins a chain of chemical reactions in the skin to create a natural barrier or “sunblock”. This natural barrier is what creates the dark melanin.
The drug is not to be confused with tanning creams that merely tint or pills that increase melanin production which are only effective with UV light, ultimately not avoiding the skin damage. The group of scientists have created a substance that is rubbed directly into the skin and ignites the production of the darkening chemicals without needing to go through the damage caused by UV rays to spark the production of these chemicals.
A recent article published by BBC news detailing the intricacy of the new drug featured the feedback of Dr. David Fisher, one of the researchers. He explained, “”it 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.”
This scientists’ ultimate goal is not to have produced a cosmetic but instead to significantly diminish the development of future skin cancer cases around the world by helping individuals reap the benefits of feeling sun-kissed without the fireball’s damage to our skin.
The product is still not ready for commercial use but the medical community is anxious to soon see the positive effects this novel drugs could have on our population and the future of skin cancer.